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    VOLUME 39, NO. 7                                                               JULY, 2021


KCDHH Mourns Death of Senator Tom Buford


KCDHH staff is offering their condolences after the death of a longtime lawmaker and friend.


State Senator Tom Buford, a Nicholasville Republican and friend of KCDHHs, passed away at the age of 72. He represented a number of central Kentucky counties over the past 30 years, was a member of the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) Advisory Board, and was a member of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee.


“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Buford,” said KCDHH Executive Director, Virginia Moore. “He had a profound impact on our agency, and helped us navigate the legislative waters supporting the interpreter licensure bill, expansion for funding for the TAP (Telecommunications Access Program) distribution, continued funding for KSD and quality of education for all. He will be greatly missed.”



Governor Signs Order Ending Restrictions


On June 11, Virginia Moore interpreted Governor Beshear marking his final regularly scheduled COVID-19 briefing by signing an executive order ending all Kentucky restrictions and thanking Kentuckians for their hard work and sacrifices that saved countless lives in the commonwealth. The Governor also lifted the statewide mask mandate for most settings and ended capacity limits for restaurants, bars, and other public venues. Masks are still required in medical settings and nursing homes. The Governor also thanked close partners in the state’s fight against COVID-19 over the past 15 months, including KCDHH’s Executive Director.



Get Your Vaccine to Register 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 Entry requires 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 Recommends Masks for Unvaccinated


If you’re unvaccinated, there are many types of masks you can use to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading COVID-19. When choosing a mask, choose one that fits snugly. A cloth or disposable mask should be worn anytime you are indoors or outdoors with people who don’t live with you.  Some masks are designed and tested to ensure they perform at a consistent level to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These masks are labeled to tell you what standard they meet. To find out more about the different types of masks, click on the logo below.




New State Laws In Effect June 29


Most new laws approved during the Kentucky General Assembly's 2021 session went into effect on June 29.


The Kentucky Constitution specifies that new laws take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the legislature unless they have a special effective date, are general appropriations measures, or include an emergency clause that makes them effective immediately upon becoming law. Final adjournment of the 2021 Regular Session occurred on March 30, making June 29 the effective date for most bills.


Laws taking effect that day include measures on various topics and can be found here.



KDE Provides Meals in Summer Food Service Program


From June to August, the Summer Food Service Program, federally funded and administered by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), will provide meals at no cost to children age 18 and under who are from low-income families.


KDE partners with more than 170 school districts and community organizations statewide to offer nutritious meals, educational activities and recreational fun while school is out of session.


Last summer, more than 1,500 sites helped serve over 17 million meals to Kentucky children. The number of Summer Food Service Program meals and meal sites has increased annually for the past five years as awareness of, and participation in, the program has increased.


There are several ways to find a Summer Food Service Program site:

•Text “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877

•Visit  or

•Call 866-348-6479.

Read the complete article by clicking on the logo below.




KCDHH/Heuser Institute Hosts Booth

Kentucky State Fair Dates Set for August 19-29


The Kentucky State Fair announced the most affordable fair

experience in more than a decade with three special days for fairgoers to enjoy. Early bird tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. July 2 through August 5 for $8 per person, which includes parking.

Early bird admission tickets can also be purchased online at or at participating Kroger locations. Prices increase on August 6. Admission at the gate is $10 per person and parking is $10 per vehicle.


Advance all-day Thrill Ville ride wristbands are $25 and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster with your admission ticket, in-person at participating Krogers or at


In addition to announcing early bird tickets and Thrill Ville wristbands, the Kentucky State Fair announced the return of two popular special promotional days and a new morning event to welcome more families

from across Kentucky.


·  Sunday, August 22: Military Sunday will honor veterans, military members and their families with free admission and optional discounted midway wristbands. Military I.D must be presented at the entrance and will include up to four people. Parking is not included.


·  Tuesday, August 24: Senior Day returns with free admission for fairgoers ages 55 and up. Parking is not included. There will be activities for seniors throughout the day.


·  Wednesday, August 25: The first ever Sensory Friendly Morning will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. with free admission and midway tickets to family and fairgoers with sensory processing differences. The midway will operate with minimal lights and music during that time to create an enjoyable fair experience for those with sensory sensitivities.


For more information on the 2021 State Fair, click on the logo below and make sure you visit  the KCDHH booth located in the exhibit hall.



Governor Proclaims Interpreter Appreciation Day


On June 16, Virginia Moore, Executive Director, Rachel Morgan Kincaid, Executive Staff Interpreter, Rachel Rodgers, Interpreter Referral Special, and Rebecca Kreutzer, volunteer Deaf Interpreter attended a proclamation were in attendance as the Governor signed a proclamation declaring June 16  “Interpreter Appreciation Day.” The Governor stated that when KCDHH opened the door to language access for the deaf and hard of hearing in Kentucky, he opened the door to access in all languages. According to the director of the Office for Globalization, Kentucky has diverse communities that represent over 100 countries and speak more than 120 languages. The proclamation stated:

•There are nearly 700,000 deaf and hard of hearing Kentuckians who benefit from the work of KCDHH; and

•Team Kentucky interpreters donated hundreds of hours to protect their neighbors from COVID-19; and

•Interpreters made sure every person in our commonwealth knew they were part of Team Kentucky and that we would get through this together; and

•Interpreters across Kentucky are preparing our people to reach across borders – and cultural barriers in their own communities – to solve big problems; and

•Many Team Kentucky interpreters have been recognized as Kentucky Colonels due to their extraordinary service to the commonwealth; and

•All Team Kentucky Interpreters won the Kentucky World Languages Association’s Amici Linguarium (Friend of Languages) Award for their dedicated leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Pictured (left to right) is Rachel Rodgers, Rebecca Kreutzer, Governor Beshear, Virginia Moore, and Rachel Morgan Kincaid.



LAD Picnic/Vaccine Day Hosts Over 100 Attendees


KCDHH staff attended Deaf Vaccine Day on June 19 at Louisville Summer Picnic in Fern Creek Community Center. KCDHH and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities partnered with the Louisville Association of the Deaf (LAD), Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, and the Fern Creek Community Center to host Deaf Vaccine Day. Over 100 individuals participated in the LAD picnic and several received their COVID-19 vaccine. Interpreters were provided for those who were interested in receiving their vaccines. Most of the 100 attendees had already received their vaccinations, but eight more deaf individuals were vaccinated that day.



Team Kentucky Named PRSA Communicator of the Year


On June 24, Governor Beshear, Virginia Moore, Dr. Steven Stack, and Team Kentucky posed for a photo in the Governor’s office, as they were honored by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Bluegrass Chapter with the 2021 Communicator of the Year award. This is the second year that Virginia Moore has won the award. She shares this year’s award with Dr. Stack. The Bluegrass Chapter serves communications professionals in Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding areas, including Southern Indiana. Pictured below (left) is the “Team Kentucky” communications team and (right) Virginia Moore with Dr. Stack.



This Summer, Let Your Kids Go Wild!


Four Kentucky children (18 or younger) will each win $1,000 to put toward a college savings account this year by participating in a summer reading program at their local public library. The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) and Kentucky Saves 529 have launched Go Wild! College Savings Summer Reading Sweepstakes as part of the 2021 summer reading program. The sweepstakes runs through August 13. After signing up children for the summer reading program at their local public library, parents, grandparents, or guardians can enter each child for the sweepstakes by clicking on the logo below.



Endler Smith Named to ELP 2021-2022 Class


KCDHH’s Jessica Endler Smith, Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) Coordinator, was one of 15 employees selected to participate in the 2021-2022 class of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). As part of Lt. Governor, Jacqueline Coleman’s, initiative to develop talent and create a pipeline of up-and-coming leaders, the Human Resources Training and Employee Relations kicked off its inaugural pilot leadership development program on June 30. Participants meet the first Wednesday of the month for workshops, trainings, and presentations. The program also has a project component that will be the crux of the program, requiring individuals to develop and present their project for approval, then present the results to a review panel in an end-of-the-year presentation.



Kentucky Hands & Voices SuperHEARo 5k Photos


The Kentucky Hands & Voices SuperHEARo 5k was held at White Hall State Historic site, Richmond, on May 28. Participants were encouraged to dress up as their favorite hero. Awards were given for “Top Overall Male” and “Female Finishers,” “Best Dressed Male” and “Female Superheroes,” “Best Dressed Wonder Pet.” Registrants also received a Finisher’s Medal. See event photos below.



Two Kentucky High School Students Learn

Cybersecurity at UAH GenCyber Camp


Two Kentucky high school graduates were among fifteen deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) high school students from at least nine states learning about cybersecurity and computer technologies during the fifth annual GenCyber Camp for deaf and hard of hearing students. The camp took place at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System. From Kentucky, Tia Moors, (below, right) graduate from Kentucky School for the Deaf, and Haley Toler, (below, left) graduate from Rowan County High School, Morehead. For more about the program, visit the website here.



Audible Review: American Football Film

Makes Noise About Deaf Culture


Audible is a new coming of age documentary short from Netflix that follows high school athlete Amaree McKenstry and his friends during their senior year. This 38-minute documentary is about the team’s final semester. It starts with the brutal loss of a game that breaks a 16-season winning streak, taking in the ordinary trials and tribulations of adolescence, as well as some of the particular challenges of preparing to step out of the deaf community to face adult life in the hearing world. The soundtrack fades in and out, blurring and unblurring to reflect what the players themselves hear of it, and keeps in all the advertent and inadvertent noises the students make as they communicate in American Sign Language (ASL). It is also set against the backdrop of grief for teammate Teddy Webster, lost to suicide. It finishes with the homecoming game, where the team meets with either triumph or disaster. The video opened on Netflix July 1. To read more about the review, click on the photo of McKenstry below.




Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the sites that normally host summer camps for deaf and hard of hearing youth are facing a lot of uncertainty. As a result, KCDHH has compiled the list below to serve as a starting point for parents to search for camps that will be available summer, 2021. (Before registering for summer camps, most camps require that participants receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Use to schedule an appointment.)


Note: Deaf and hard of hearing children have the same rights to attend summer camp as their hearing peers, and cannot be denied admission due to their hearing loss. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that summer camps (both private and those run by towns or municipalities) must provide reasonable modifications of their policies, practices and procedures when necessary to enable campers with disabilities to participate fully in camp programs, unless the camp can demonstrate that the necessary modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the services and activities offered by the camp. Camps must provide reasonable accommodations unless they can prove it would pose a danger to other campers or cause an undue financial burden. This applies to sports camps as well as traditional camps such as 4-H and Conservation.  Always sign up as soon as possible and let the camp administrators know that your child needs a specific accommodation.  Even when a specific accommodation may not be feasible, there are often options that can still provide a happy camp experience.  The parents/caregivers and camp administrators should work together to identify the best accommodations for the child. If you feel like your deaf or hard of hearing child is not being provided the necessary accommodations for their camp experience, please let us know, and we will be happy to help advocate.


Gallaudet Virtual Camp Discovery

July 19-30

Focused on serving children, ages four to 12, who are DHH, kids of deaf adults, or children who use sign language, but all are welcome.


Explore Your Future, Rochester, NY (Virtual)

July 18-July 21

For DHH college-bound students exploring their futures after high school graduation.


If you know of other camps, please send them to us at



KYRID/BGASLTA Conference: August 6-8


The Kentucky Registry of Interpreters (KYRID) and the Bluegrass American Sign Language Teachers Association (BGASLTA) will host a joint conference at the Louisville Galt House on August 6-8. Nine sessions with 13 Professional Studies hours (CEUs) will be available. Early bird registration is now available. For registration information, conference schedule and workshop descriptions, visit the website here.


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 teach 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 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, October 6 to October 10. Engage in workshops designed for the deaf/Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing family and allies. Explore the wonders of Niagara Falls on both the United States and Canadian side.


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. The early bird rate has been extended until July 16.


DeafNation Conference July 31 to August 4, 2022


With DeafNation canceling its 2021 conference, you can now register for the 4th DeafNation World Expo & Conference that is set for July 31 to August 4, 2022. Click on the logo below for more information.



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.



USA Deaf Soccer Association Hosting Youth Clinic


The USA Deaf Soccer Association is holding a Youth Soccer Clinic for children of all ages on Sunday, July 18, at Louisville’s Champions Park, 2050 River Road. The clinic will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. 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: June 26 and October 16

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

Visit or click here for more information.



July’s KCDHH Spotlight Q&A is Nancy Perry, who represents the Kentucky Association of the Deaf (KAD) on KCDHH’s Commission Board. Nancy’s hometown is Franklin, KY. She graduated from the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD), Danville, KY. She went to Gallaudet College for a few years and then transferred to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), Rochester, NY with a major in Applied Arts (AA).  She also earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). Her current occupations are Freelance Arts & Graphic Design, Deaf interpreter for more than 20 years, teaching ASL in the Bowling Green, KY community college for more than 25 years, and ASL tutoring. She has been a KAD representative with KCDHH since 2017. Read more here.




Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids Update


Some people avoid purchasing hearing aids because of their hefty price tags: Costs for a single hearing aid range from hundreds of dollars to more than $4,000, and Medicare and most private insurers often do not cover the expense. Not surprisingly, affordability is a “significant barrier” to purchasing hearing aids, according to a paper in The Hearing Journal, a hearing health care publication.


However, the types (and prices) of hearing aids available to consumers could soon change. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of drafting proposed regulations for over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, a brand-new category of hearing aids. Once approved and regulated, OTC hearing aids will likely be more affordable and accessible to consumers than most other FDA-approved hearing aids on the market right now. Read the full story here.


For Health Care Professionals

Ways HL Patients Can Alleviate Social Isolation


Did you know that patients with hearing loss (HL) are 7.5 times more likely to report social isolation? And with social isolation comes other significant mental and physical health impacts. That’s why social connectedness is such a crucial component for better overall health outcomes for health care professionals and their patients. This brief, Technology Can Reduce Patient Isolation, explores research on the topic as well as available technologies that can help health care professionals. Click here to read more.


Apple’s Sound Recognition for Iphones


If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can use Sound Recognition to have your iPhone alert you to important sounds like car horns and doorbells. See how it works in Apple’s video on YouTube here.


Xbox Party Chat Adds TTS and STT


Team Xbox believes gaming should be inclusive, approachable, and accessible to everyone. That includes making it easy for gamers to play and communicate together. Party chat, used by gamers around the world to talk to their friends while playing, now supports converting speech into text and text into speech. Each of these features can be used to help gamers who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or cannot or choose not to speak. Learn more here.


Microsoft 365/Office 365 Licenses to Support Live

Transcriptions with Speaker Attribution in Teams


Microsoft will soon expand support for live transcription with speaker attribution within Microsoft Teams. Live transcription can identify who is speaking and attribute text to a meeting participant. The transcription appears in real-time during the meeting and is also available for review later. It's a handy feature for people who are deaf or hard of hearing or people who are in a loud environment. 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 |