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    VOLUME 39, NO. 8                                                         AUGUST, 2021


Governor Mandates Masks in Kentucky Schools


Citing exponential growth of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across Kentucky, K-12 schools are now required to enforce universal masking among students and staff, Governor Andy Beshear announced on August 10, as he reported 2,500 new cases — the most reported in a single day since early January.


The governor said he would sign a 30-day executive order requiring all teachers, staff, students, and visitors in K-12 schools, child care and pre-kindergarten programs to wear a mask when indoors. Read the entire story here.


The Kentucky Board of Education also voted unanimously August 11 to approve an emergency regulation requiring anyone inside a public K-12 school to wear a mask. Due to state law around emergency administrative regulations, the regulation would last 270 days — which lands around the first week of May.



Hospitals Requiring Vaccines by September 15


On August 5, during his weekly Team Kentucky update, Governor Andy Beshear said hospital executives from 11 health care systems in the commonwealth announced the following pledge:


“The health care facilities below are committed to the health and safety of our patients and employees. In support of this commitment, we will all require our health care workforce to initiate a complete COVID-19 vaccination series no later than September 15, 2021.”


The new policy will help health systems respond to a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant. Yesterday, the Governor announced 2,583 new cases (the highest since February 3, 2021) and a 10.08% test positivity rate (the highest since Jan. 24, 2021).


The health care systems adding this vaccine requirement for staff include: Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), Baptist Health, CHI Saint Joseph Health, King’s Daughters Health System, Med Center Health, Norton Healthcare, Pikeville Medical Center, St. Claire Healthcare, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, UK Healthcare and UofL Health.



One More Time for ‘Shot at a Million’


If you are a permanent resident of Kentucky who has received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you are eligible to register for a “Shot at a Million.” Permanent residents of Kentucky are eligible even if they received the vaccine in a different state.


Visit Entries require Kentuckians to provide personal and contact information, including: name, birth date, email address, phone number, home address, and the name and location of the place that provided you with the vaccine. Entry also requires agreement to the official rules of the drawing and agreement to allow the Kentucky Department for Public Health to verify your vaccination information. The website also offers information about eligibility, how to find a vaccine appointment, frequently asked questions, and official rules. Click on the logo below to access the website.



CDC Healthy Schools


It’s back to school season, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has listed some ideas for parents to help their kids get ready for school and ways they can be actively involved in school health. Click on the “Back to School” image.



KCDHH Will Not Be Attending State Fair


Due to the recent outbreak of the Delta variant, the KCDHH and Heuser staff have opted out of hosting a booth at this year’s Kentucky State Fair, which is slated for August 19-29, 2021. KCDHH thanks all of those volunteers who signed up to work. You can still attend the fair. You may find more information about it by clicking on the logo below. Information about KCDHH will also be available in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services booth.



Emergency Broadband Available


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is providing an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program that is available for qualifying low-income households. This program provides a temporary discount on monthly internet bills. To receive the discount, consumers will need to verify their internet company is participating in the program and to enroll in the EBB Program. To see if you qualify, visit the website here. This program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency. To see a video to learn more about the program, click on the photo below.



KCDHH Executive Director Visits Hodgenville


The Hodgenville Rotary Club rolled out the red carpet for KCDHH Executive Director, Virginia Moore, during a July 29th visit for “Virginia Moore Day in LaRue County.” She spoke with ABE 93.7 radio station and then gave words of encouragement to those gathered at the Rotary Club’s meeting, “Service to Self, Service to Others.” Moore was honored with an Abraham Lincoln statue. See photos of her visit below.



Moore Interviews with Courier-Journal


In a recent interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, KCDHH’s Executive Director, Virginia Moore, had an opportunity to explain the Commission’s role in the governor’s press briefings, how state agencies collaborate with KCDHH, how the hearing community can learn to communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, different ways to communicate, resources available, and organizing the DeaFestival. To read the article, click here.



“CODA” Breaks New Ground for Deaf Moviegoers


“CODA,” a coming-of-age story about the only hearing member of a Deaf family, will have open captions that need no special equipment in all U.S. and U.K. movie theaters, starting Friday, August 13, and you can see it in Louisville at Baxter Avenue Theatres.


CODA, an acronym for “child of deaf adults,” won four awards at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It will also be streamed with full subtitles in more than 36 languages on Apple TV+, starting Friday. See the trailer by clicking on the photo below.




2021 H&V Conference

September 17-19: These Boots are Made for Leading

The Hands & Voices Leadership Conference brings together family leaders from all over the world to develop skills, to receive training on providing leadership to others, and to impact local systems. It is the only conference of its kind devoted exclusively to teaching family members with children who are deaf or hard of hearing to be effective agents of change. The conference will be held at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, Franklin, TN. For information and registration, visit the Hands & Voices website here.


Register: ALDAcon 2021: “Passport to Accessibility!”


Invite your family and friends to this year’s Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) Convention in Niagara Falls, New York, from October 6 to October 10. Engage in workshops designed for the deaf/Deaf, hard of hearing, hearing family, and allies. Explore the wonders of Niagara Falls on both the United States and Canadian sides.


ALDA looks forward to seeing you at the 2021 ALDAcon in Niagara Falls, NY! Simply complete the online registration or print and submit your registration via mail – click here.


Call for nominations! ALDAcon 2021 Awards


Want to recognize a great volunteer or organization? Each year ALDA honors various people and organizations that have either improved the lives of people with hearing loss or significantly contributed to the activities and well-being of ALDA. This is your chance to recognize the individual accomplishments and achievements of those who volunteer and/or advocate on behalf of everyone with hearing loss. There are awards for ALDA members, non-members, and organizations who have made significant contributions or achievements on behalf of people with hearing loss.


Award categories include:

·  I. King Jordan Award – Presented at the discretion of the Board of Directors to a late-deafened person who has succeeded and become distinguished in their chosen field of endeavor and is an outstanding role model for other late-deafened people and for deaf people in general.

·  Robert R. Davila ALDA Angel Award – Presented to an individual, organization, or agency providing ALDA with important services, funding or other forms of support during the year.

·  ALDA Brainstorm AwardPresented for a creative idea or initiative which has had or will have a significant long-term benefit to ALDA.

·  Bob Hawley Fearless Leader AwardPresented to an individual for superior leadership in advancing, maintaining or establishing an ALDA chapter or a group.

·  Able ALDAn Award — Presented to a member of ALDA who has contributed time and hard work above and beyond the call of duty.

·  Cheryl Heppner ALDA Advocacy AwardPresented to a person for outstanding advocacy on behalf of late-deafened adults.

Submit your nominations by September 3, 2021 through the online nomination form located here.


If you have any questions, contact Awards Chair Steve Larew:


Deaf Women United Opens Registration for 2023


Deaf Women United has opened registration for the 2023 conference that will be held in Chicago, July 26 to July 30. The early-bird rate is available through February 28, 2023. For more information, click on the logo below.



Ohio Association of the Deaf Day Special Events


The Ohio Association of the Deaf will be hosting:

·        Deaf Day at King’s Island: October 16

·        Deaf Day at Cedar Point: August 14 and October 2

Visit or click here for more information.



August’s KCDHH Spotlight Q&A is with Michelle Niehaus, who is the designee for the Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on KCDHH’s Commission Board. Michelle’s hometown is Cincinnati, OH. She attended Greenhill’s and Winton Woods High Schools, Cincinnati. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN and Washington University, St. Louis, MO. She currently lives in Louisville with her husband, Chuck, and son, Nate. Read more here.




Twitter Introduces Much Awaited “Automated Captions” Feature For Voice Tweets

Twitter, the microblogging website, released a new update turning on the features of automated captions for voice tweets. This means that written captions will be available for all voice tweets.


This feature was introduced by Twitter after it was criticized for not making features that are accessible to all. The voice tweet feature debuted last year but it was criticized by many because those with disabilities couldn’t access it. Read more here.


Instagram Now Supports 60-Second Videos on Reels


Haven’t you heard that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app? On July 27, Instagram announced that users can now upload 60-second videos on Reels, the platform’s TikTok competitor.


This update also adds functionality for a captions sticker on Reels, which transcribes audio to text. Instagram previously teased this sticker for Reels when they added it to Stories, making the platform more accessible for deaf or hard of hearing users, as well as people who want to use the app without sound. Right now, the caption sticker is only available in a handful of English-speaking countries, but Instagram says they plan to expand to additional countries and languages soon. TikTok already has a similar feature. Read more here.






COVID-19 Vaccine Resources



World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)



Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws  



Kentucky Governor News

The official Team Kentucky source for Vaccine

Kentucky Registry of Vaccine Location

KCDHH COVID-19/Vaccine Important Links for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

KCDHH Facebook Page



For those who have deaf family members who use sign language, consider downloading Sorenson Wavello and/or the ZVRS Sivo   app on your smartphone. This app makes it possible for you to see your loved ones on your screen next to your interpreter.


Other KCDHH Resources:



KCDHH’s Telecommunications Access Program (TAP)

Landline or wireless equipment for Kentucky residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired or have both a hearing and vision loss.

KCDHH Commissioners

KCDHH Staff  


632 Versailles Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
502-573-2604 V | 502-416-0607 VP | 800-372-2907 Toll Free |