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

March 2014

A message from Director Lisa Kornberg

2014 is only three months old and we have so much to share!

First, I am really excited that ODHH is finally fully staffed. We have hired two new staff members. Jennifer Mari Gunderson started on March 17th as our new Outreach and Communications Coordinator. Also, Estie Kruglak has joined our team part time as the Special Assistant to provide administrative support to the staff!

On March 12th, the Maryland Advisory Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MACDHH) met. The room was packed - more people attended this meeting than ever before and it is exciting to see the new interest and commitment to our Office.

We are also in the middle of Legislative Session. ODHH has been sending out regular updates of all of the activity - there have been a number of bills proposed that directly impact our community.

And if that's not enough - you might want to think about starting to plan your summer now! National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), and AG Bell are all hosting national conferences this year.

Last but not least, don't forget to register to vote. June 3rd is the deadline for registration for the primary election being held this summer.

Enjoy the bulletin. As always, we would love to hear from you.


Jennifer Mari Gunderson Outreach and Communications Coordinator

Jennifer Mari Gunderson

I'm so excited to be introducing myself as the Outreach and Communications Coordinator at the Governor's Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH). I am looking forward to working closely with you--the community of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind, Parents of Deaf child/ren, senior citizens, veterans and more. My goal is to remove barriers to accessibility and communication as well as educate professionals about deaf sensitivity and awareness.

In addition to the usual duties in my job description, I also want to create new projects that will build a sturdy bridge between the hearing and deaf communities. My priority is the community's passion, which is my work. I have one favorite quote I'd like to share: "It takes a village to raise a child." The same applies to our precious Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind community. Our community needs to come together and stay together in order to be able to make positive things happen. Without you, this will not be possible.

I received a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies from Gallaudet University in May 2013. I interned with Visual Language Visual Learning (VL2) and I have also attended the Early Hearing Detection Invention (EHDI) conference. I'm looking forward to continuing to develop relationships with them and, most of all, YOU

I am looking forward to meeting each one of you at the outreach events. Please feel free to email me or videophone me, even if it is only to say hi!

Email: jennifer.gunderson@maryland.gov

VP: 443-687-7265

Estie Kruglak Special Assistant

Estie Kruglak

Hello! My name is Estie Kruglak and I'm the new administrative assistant here at ODHH. You might remember me as an intern with ODHH last fall. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with the deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind community. My goals as the assistant while working here are to provide resources and information, increase awareness about the community, and support equal communication access. I am also looking forward to getting more exposure by going to different events and meeting all of you!

Please feel free to email, call, or videophone me anytime!

Email: estie.kruglak@maryland.gov

Voice: 410-767-6290

VP: 443-453-5954

MACDHH Meeting Updates

People in a meeting

On March 12th, the Maryland Advisory Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing met for its quarterly meeting. It was a full house! Our special guest speaker, Christine Telford from the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), gave a presentation on DeafBlind communication.

Next, each subcommittee gave a report on issues they are working on. The Behavioral Health subcommittee reported on the issues of medical assistance and insurance and who is responsible for providing those services. The Education subcommittee gave a report on a range of topics, including leadership training for young deaf and hard of hearing students, captioning for the State Department of Education's website and school materials, and certification for school interpreters. The Communication Access subcommittee is focusing on visual alarms and sharing more information about programs available to provide these alarms. The council also voted to set up a new DeafBlind subcommittee.

The next meeting is scheduled for June.

2014 Legislative Session Updates

Maryland State House

There are five important bills that may impact the deaf and hard of hearing community. One is HB653, which would create a Deaf Cultural Digital Library.

Another is SB103, which would change the statewide newborn screening program's name to ""Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program". It would change outdated terms like "hearing impaired," to "hearing loss." The bill also adds ODHH to their Council. It would also streamline reporting and follow-up requirements.

SB20 proposed changing our office's name to the "Governor's Office of the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind." That bill was withdrawn.

HB51 would require all county boards to establish a tollfree bullying hotline and to publicize that hotline but is it accessible to deaf and hard of hearing Marylanders?

SB446/HB396 (two bills, same concept) would establish a commission to study web accessibility but what about input from the deaf and hard of hearing community? Please click the below link for more details on each bill, how it would impact the deaf and hard of hearing community, and the current status of each bill.

ODHH Legislative Updates

ODHH serves as an information clearinghouse on the needs and issues affecting deaf and hard of hearing individuals. ODHH has not drafted or submitted any of these bills but instead is providing this information as a service to the community.

2014 Summer Convention Season


This year, from July 1st to 5th, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is hosting their 52nd biennial conference in Atlanta, Georgia. For the first time ever, the NAD conference will have a theme in ASL! The theme this year is language, community and activism. For more information about the conference and to register, visit the website: http://new.nad.org/

Austin, Texas is the host city this summer for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) 2014 Convention happening during the week of June 26th to 29th. The keynote speaker is music composer Richard Einhorn which is especially fitting because Austin is the music capital of the world. The workshops cover a list of topics like employment issues, assistive technology, advocacy and communications. Start planning your trip now! http://www.hearingloss.org/content/convention

The 2014 AG Bell Convention is happening at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida from June 26th to 30th. This convention is sure to keep you busy. There are ten preconvention workshops, more than 48 sessions and over 70 exhibitors! Earn continuing education hours while networking and socializing with your peers. To learn more and to register, please visit: http://listeningandspokenlanguage.org/ConventionRegistration

Register to Vote!

VOTE Button

Don't forget to register to vote! You can use Maryland's Online Voter Registration System (OLVR) or submit a registration application. You can also register in person. The deadline for voter registration is June 3rd. You will need a valid license, Maryland MVA ID, or social security number. Visit the State Board of Elections website to learn more about where to go and how to register.


Office of Governor

Governor's Captioned Videos

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March 13 - April 15 is National Deaf History Month.

This month includes three key moments in American History for the Deaf community: the March 13, 1988 Deaf President Now protest, the April 8, 1864 signing of the Gallaudet University charter by President Abraham Lincoln, and the April 15, 1817 establishment of American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT as the first permanent public school for the deaf.

Reminder! IRS Tax Tips Series: In ASL with Captions and Voice Over

The Internal Revenue Service has produced a video series of Tax Tips that gives concise information about a variety of topics. All videos are fully accessible through American Sign Language, Captions, and Voice Over. To view them, visit the IRS's YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/irsvideosasl Examples of videos posted are:

  • IRS Efforts on Identity Theft
  • Message to Taxpayers
  • IRS Identity Theft FAQ
  • Additional Medicare Tax
  • File your 1040-EZ Using Free File

Upcoming Events

Deaf History Month Celebration

April 3, 2014
6 PM - 8 PM
Guest Speaker:
Michael Gallagher
Sponsored by
Hearing and Speech Agency
5900 Metro Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21215

Frederick Keys Baseball Deaf Awareness Night

May 13, 2014
Harry Grove Stadium
21 Stadium Drive
Frederick, MD 21703

Maryland Advisory Council on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MACDHH) Education Subcommittee Meeting

April 24, 2014
11 AM - 12:30 PM
Maryland School of the
Columbia Campus
8169 Old Montgomery
Columbia, MD 21043

HLAA Baltimore Chapter Meeting

April 24, 2014
6:30 PM - 8 PM
Hearing and Speech
5900 Metro Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21215

Brown Bag Lunch
April 25, 2014
12 Noon - 2 PM
Hosted by
Hearing and Speech
5900 Metro Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21215

Metro Washington Association of the DeafBlind's 30th Anniversary Picnic May 3, 2014
High Ridge Park
Laurel, MD
Time to be determined

Frederick Keys Baseball Deaf Awareness Night
May 13, 2014
Harry Grove Stadium
21 Stadium Drive
Frederick, MD 21703