A message from Director Lisa Kornberg
Hello. October was again a busy month for ODHH. Special thanks to our partners from DLLR, Charlie Hunt and Barbara Ebel. We also want to thank our expert presenters, Hank Passi and Lise Hamlin. Because of them, our National Disability Employment Awareness Month workshops were a huge success. Many Marylanders with hearing loss learned valuable tips for job seeking.
As we get closer to Thanksgiving, we are reminded that we should be thankful for the many gifts we enjoy. One of our greatest gifts here in America is freedom. On November 11, 2013, we celebrated Veterans' Day. We at ODHH would like to say thank you to our veterans for their service to our country and for protecting our freedom. Every day, take a moment to thank a veteran. After serving in the military, many veterans experience hearing loss. If you know a veteran who needs information about hearing loss or assistive technology, please encourage them to contact ODHH.
All the time, we remember that ODHH cannot continue without the support from you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your questions, your requests for information, and your willingness to partner with us. We look forward to continuing to serve you by offering programs like the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Driver card program. Once again, we thank you for your support.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Driver Placards
Are you a Marylander with hearing loss? Have you ever been pulled over by a police officer and struggled to communicate? If so, you are not alone. We have heard from many constituents about their struggles to alert officers to their hearing loss and to effectively communicate with them during traffic stops. In response to these concerns, ODHH has created Deaf and Hard of Hearing Driver Placards, which are available to Marylanders with a hearing loss at no cost.
The Deaf Driver Placard alerts officers that you prefer to communicate through sign language, that you do not read lips, and that a qualified interpreter should be called to facilitate communication. The Hard of Hearing Placard makes the officer aware that you have a hearing loss and offers many tips to aid in communication. For example, the card suggests that officers ensure that you can clearly see their faces, that they write down important information to ensure comprehension, and that they move to a location with minimal background noise if possible.
The placards are designed to be kept above your visor or in your glove compartment for easy access when you are pulled over. When the officer approaches your vehicle, simply place the card in the window. Once an officer is aware of your communication needs, there is a lesser chance for misunderstandings.
If you would like to have either a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Driver Placard, please email ODHH's Outreach Coordinator, Lisa Jordan, at email@example.com. Indicate which Placard you would prefer (Deaf or Hard of Hearing) and include your full name and address in the email. If you have any questions, feel free to email or call our office at 410-767-6290.
Brown Bag Lunches for Professionals
ODHH is pleased to announce that we are once again hosting monthly Brown Bag Lunches. Started several years ago, these lunches were designed to bring together professionals who work with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind individuals, advocates, volunteer service providers, and consumers. Each month, we meet in a different location, offering businesses and organizations the opportunity to highlight their services to Marylanders with hearing loss. After a brief presentation from one organization per month, you are invited to enjoy your lunch while networking with others, sharing resources, and announcing upcoming events for your organization.
These lunches can be a great way to spread the word about your upcoming events, recruit volunteers, and learn how you can partner with other organizations to help meet your goals. Our next Brown Bag Lunch will be held on November 22, 2013 at Noon at the Maryland School for the Deaf (8169 Old Montgomery Road, Columbia, MD 21044) in the Multipurpose room in the Denton building.
All are welcome. Please join us!
Mark your calendars for the upcoming Brown Bag Lunches:
- February 28
- March 14
- April 25
- May 9
Resources for our Veterans
We honor Veterans' Day every year in November, but our veterans deserve our thanks every day of the year. Did you know that hearing loss is the most common disability that returning veterans experience as a result of combat? We at ODHH are committed to serving veterans with hearing loss by providing information and referral to ensure that they can be fully engaged in our communities. In addition, there are several other State programs to assist our veterans.
The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs' Outreach & Advocacy Program's mission is to develop innovative ways to seek out and inform Maryland's veterans about benefits and services that are available from federal, state, and local organizations, as well as solicit feedback from veterans regarding their requests and needs for additional services.
To accomplish its mission the Outreach & Advocacy Program works closely with multiple local, state and federal agencies and non-profit organizations to coordinate efforts to locate and inform Maryland's veterans as well as to expand benefits and services available to Maryland veterans. The Program also is responsible for the following:
- Completion of the semiannual MDVA newsletter
- Maintenance of the MDVA website
- Compilation and mailing of the Welcome Home Maryland Veterans packets
- Briefings on MDVA programs and benefits available to Maryland Veterans and their families
The MDVA also offers "Our Veterans Are Welcome Here" decals to business owners to show their support for military veterans. The program and logo were designed in a joint effort between the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs and the Maryland Veterans Commission. The decal can be displayed in a storefront window, or an electronic version can be placed on the company website.
Examples of how businesses might support veterans:
- they employ veterans or are seeking to employ veterans
- they offer a discount on their goods/services to veterans
- they are a veteran-owned business
- they simply would like to show their appreciation for the military service of our veterans
If your business supports veterans, and you would like a logo/decal for your storefront, or would like an electronic version for your website, please contact Jerry Boden, Chief of Staff, MDVA, at 410-260-3841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use safety gates. Even before your baby crawls, install safety gates to match your home and protect curious children from harm. Hardware mounted gates should be installed at the top and bottom of the stairs.
Prepare for bedtime. Remove all soft, fluffy and loose bedding from the baby's sleep area. This includes pillows, blankets, quilts, bumper pads, sleep positioners, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft products.
Be mindful of plants. Choose decorative plants that are nontoxic. Common household plants can often cause serious sickness.
Update your exterior. Place a welcome mat outside your home or apartment. Pesticides and other toxins may be carried inside on the soles of people's shoes.
Keep things tidy. Storage bins offer a great way to store toys and baby supplies, preventing anyone from tripping.
Get creative. Hand paint electrical outlet covers to blend into walls. Install door knob covers as a means to keep little hands from opening doors.
Lock it up. Put locks on anything and everything that can open.
Be cautious of choking hazards. Be vigilant about coins, marbles, keys, jewelry, paper clips, water bottle tops, safety pins, removable rubber tips on doorstops, jeweled decorations on children's clothing, crayons, and hard and round foods.
Check out your furniture. Use angle braces or anchors to secure large furniture to the wall. Place TVs, VCRs and stereo systems on lower furniture, as far back as possible.
Hot water: Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees F. A lower water temperature reduces the chance of scald burns. Munchkin's White Hot Super Safety Bath Ducky can help you manage the temperature of water in your children's baths.
The first full week in December has been celebrated as Clerc-Gallaudet Week since December 1-7, 1974.
The purpose of the week is to celebrate the birth anniversaries of the two pioneers in deaf education who were born in the month of December (Laurent Clerc on December 26, 1785 and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet on December 10, 1787) and to recognize their impact on American society since the 19th century.
Brown Bag Lunch for Professionals
12 Noon - 2 PM
Maryland School for the Deaf
ODHH Advisory Council
9 AM - 12 Noon