Welcome from Director Lisa Kornberg

ODHH was established in 2001 to provide expertise related to deaf and hard of hearing issues to Maryland citizens and to facilitate their ability of access resources and services. We hope that this website will help us to fulfill our mission by providing access to information and resources related to deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Maryland.

ODHH believes that all Maryland citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing should have equal and full access to resources, services, and opportunities for participation in all aspects of community life through the provision of appropriate accommodations. Thank you for visiting us today! We look forward to serving you.

Video welcome from Director Lisa Kornberg

ODHH's Monthly Bulletin -- June/July 2014

A message from Director Lisa Kornberg

As we wrap up the fiscal year - it is a great opportunity to look back over FY14 and reflect on all that has happened here at ODHH. We are comfortably settled in our new office on the 9th floor - and had a great time showing it off at the ODHH Open House.

As the result of the hard work of our Advisory Council members, ODHH has been more involved with both state agencies and with the community - especially by increasing our focus of working with the DeafBlind community. All of the staff visited DeafBlind Camp of MD this year - and Brenda Talley, the DeafBlind Camp director, shares her experiences at camp this year with you.

We are also looking forward to the 24th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act. This year Maryland will be celebrating at the Cultural Arts Center at the Takoma Park Campus of Montgomery Community College. We thought this would be a good time to review the relevance of the ADA.

Enjoy the bulletin - and as always - feel free to contact us with your questions, concerns and feedback.


ODHH Open House

Staff of ODHH

On Friday, June 20, ODHH held an Open House to exhibit our new office space. Over 30 people came from state agencies, non-profit organizations, and the deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind community. Guests mingled and received free promotional items. Chef Jeffrey Perri catered delicious refreshments, including Cheese and Crackers, Fruit Platter, Perri's Special BBQ Pulled Beef Sliders, Grilled Chicken Silders, Greek Pasta, and California Chinese Cabbage Wrap with Perri's Special Peanut Sauce. The most popular item was the Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato Crostini Sandwich! If you would like more information about Chef Perri, please contact him at:chefjperri@gmail.com Once everyone was stuffed, our Executive Director, Lisa Kornberg, gave brief remarks and we announced our raffle door prize winners. Congratulations to Mickey Morales, Samantha Brooks, and Chris DeSomma, who won Amazon gift cards. ODHH wants to sincerely thank those who attended our Open House and made it a success!

DeafBlind Camp
By Brenda Talley

ASL for Deaf Blind

The DeafBlind Camp of Maryland, Inc. (DBC) ended 2 weeks ago and I am finally catching up on missed sleep. The camp starts early every morning and has activities scheduled until 10 p.m. Then, many folks stay up until crazy hours playing games or just chatting with old friends.

The DBC is an annual one-week residential camp for adults with significant hearing loss and vision loss. This year, many of the 41 campers were totally deaf and blind. Campers hailed from as far away as Washington State and Canada. Unfortunately, we were not able to accept all who applied because of limited space at our facility and the extra costs for more campers and volunteers. The camp, held at the West River Methodist Retreat Center, is totally accessible. Communication is provided in whatever mode the campers prefer. The grounds have ramps where needed, and Patrick Hemmer, assisted by boys scout troop 740, installed a rope course so campers may traverse the camp independently.

The Board thanks everyone who donated their time and effort to make camp a success. Ninety on-site volunteers, called Support Service Providers (SSPs), ensured the campers were fully engaged in all activities. Our SSP Coordinator, Cay Perque, made sure all communication needs were met. Many SSPs were students in interpreting and deaf studies programs, so camp is a wonderful opportunity to improve skills and learn about deaf-blindness. Also, a group of people provided rides to and from camp, and many people supported us during the year attending our annual fundraiser and providing financial assistance.

The week was full of activities led by dedicated volunteers. These people and organizations deserve our gratitude as well. Fifteen professionals donated their time to work in our spa, giving massages, haircuts, and manicures to the campers. Bikers for Jesus provided thrilling motorcycle rides to campers on Sunday night. They had one bike with a side car which was great for campers with balance issues. The Anne Arundel Lions Club came out to provide hay rides and s'mores by a camp fire. Kent Island United Methodist Church led a wonderful evening of BINGO. Scott Stoffel and his loyal assistant set up a Tactile Carnival - a huge success. JADE, Jewish Advocates for Deaf Education, led Jewish fellowship and Pastor Sandi Johnson organized Christian Fellowship. Staff at the Calvert Maritime Museum led us through many stations of tactile experiences and their boat captain extended his time to be sure everyone in the group had a chance to take a boat ride.

Most importantly, we thank the campers for their help, their love and their laughs. Thank you to all the campers who facilitated support group meetings, led games and worship services, and taught braille classes. Thank you for laughing when your canoe capsized and you ended up in the river. Thank you for staying up with us to play late night games of UNO. Thank you for understanding when we had to wade through six inches of water to get to the dining hall during the storm on Thursday night. Thank you for hugging your SSP and giving student interpreters the opportunity to practice their interpreting skills. Thank you for teaching us patience by being patient during waits or endless lines. Thank you for proving your inner strength and physical prowess by climbing to the top of the climbing wall unassisted.

Finally, we thank Andrew Cohen and Kelly Brittingham for giving all of us the gift of sharing your wedding day. It was a beautiful occasion and many campers expressed how thrilled they were to take part in such a wonderful event and really be "included" from start to finish. You have blessed all of us. For more information about the camp, to learn how you can support us, or to read personal accounts from campers, please check out our Facebook page, Deaf-Blind Camp of Maryland, and our website,www.deafblindcampofmd.org.

ADA 24th Anniversary

People cheering

The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including employment, schools, transportation, and places of public accommodation. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The goal is to ensure a future in which all the doors are open to equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, integration and economic self-sufficiency for all for individuals with disabilities.

The 24th Anniversary of the ADA is just around the corner! Why is it an important occasion? If it were not for the ADA, you would not be able to watch television with closed captioning. You would not be able to read train announcements to know when the train will come or what the next stop will be. You would not be able to get a signlanguage interpreter at your doctor's appointment. You would have more barriers to employment opportunities. There are so many more things you would not able to do if it were not for the ADA. Therefore, it is very important to stop for a moment and show appreciation for the ADA's existence. This year, we will celebrate the ADA's anniversary at the Takoma Park campus of Montgomery County Community College.

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Summer is here!
Swimmer's ear too?

You may be surprised to learn that the shape of your ears can make you more or less likely to get swimmer's ear, a painful outer ear infection. While there's not much any of us can do about the particular curves of our ears, experts say there are ways to help prevent swimmer's ear. The infection, which doctors call otitis externa, most commonly occurs when water lingers in the ear canal. Despite the name, you don't have to swim regularly to get swimmer's ear. But the condition is more common in the summer when people are often in the water and when it's hot and humid.

Upcoming Events

Summer Series Kickoff
Friday, July 11th
Gordon Birsch
100 M St SE
Washington, DC 20003

DeafTV's Summer Blast
Saturday, July 12th
12:00 noon - 1:00 am
Capitol Skyline Hotel
10 I Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

FCC Event On Accessing Social Media
Thursday, July 17th
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
FCC Headquarters
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC
Adaptive Services
Division, Room 215

24th Anniversary of the Signing Americans with Disabilities Act
Saturday, July 26,
1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Cultural Arts Center at
Montgomery College

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