VOLUME 40, NO. 4                                                                                     April, 2022


Governor Signs Senate Bill 105, “Bella’s Bill”


Governor Andy Beshear signed several bills into law on Thursday, April 7, including Senate Bill 105, (see photo left) also known as the Bella Dawn Streeval Law, which is designed to increase awareness and screenings for cytomegalovirus (CMV). CMV is a virus that can cause childhood deafness and other health challenges. Unfortunately, most CMV infections are not diagnosed without newborn screening, resulting in missed opportunities for needed care. Bella Dawn Streeval passed away two years ago on April 7 after suffering from CMV. Read the full press release here.


Bella Dawn’s mom, Sarah Streeval, said: “Two years ago today (April 7), I held my baby girl for the last time as she struggled to take her last breath. I held my breath waiting to see if there would be another. My world ended two years ago today, but little did I know that there would be new doors that would open. Bella’s Law unfortunately doesn’t change anything for our sweet Bella, but it just may be that her spirit will be living on inside of other little ones who are affected by this law. Bella Dawn truly is changing the world.”




May is Better Speech and Hearing Month


 May celebrates “Better Speech and Hearing Month, Connecting People,” and is the perfect time for the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) to not only remind people of the importance of hearing health, the signs of hearing loss, and resources available, but also to assist in connecting people to information about safe listening. Click here for resources.



Click Below to Register to Vote: Primary Election May 17!




DeaFestival Held in Conjunction with KSD’s 200th

The 14th Biennial DeaFestival will be held in conjunction with the Kentucky School for the Deaf’s 200th Anniversary celebration. The event will be held on Saturday, September 3, in the Norton Center for the Arts on the campus of Centre College in Danville. Click the DeaFestival logo to visit the DF website and click on the KSD logo for a schedule of upcoming 200th events.



Apple Re-Releases “CODA” Following Oscars Win


After becoming the first streaming platform to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, Apple is celebrating the award with a release in theaters. The film will feature open captions to make it accessible to deaf and hard of hearing viewers. Apple's CODA follows the story of Ruby, a seventeen-year-old girl who is the sole hearing member of a deaf family, a CODA (child of deaf adults). Ruby joins her high school's choir and discovers a gift for singing. Click here for show times in Kentucky theaters or stream on Apple TV+.



Simpsons Make History with Deaf Actor & ASL


A new episode of The Simpsons on April 10 featured a deaf actor. The episode focused primarily on Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith), who finds out that her role model and favorite musician, the late saxophonist Bleeding Gums Murphy, has a son, Monk (deaf actor John Autry II) who’s deaf and needs a cochlear implant. For his part, Autry says that the role has been “life changing.” See a clip here.



COVID-19 Positivity Rate Continues to Decline


 Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, reported during a Team Kentucky update on April 7 that the state’s COVID-19 community level map is the best it has ever been, with 114 green/low incidence rate counties, six yellow/medium incidence rate counties and zero red/high incidence rate counties. He also reported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for older people and certain immunocompromised individuals:


·        Anyone 50 or older is eligible for a second Pfizer or Moderna booster four months after their most recent dose; and

·        People 12 and older for Pfizer, and 18 and older for Moderna, with substantial immunocompromising medical conditions are also eligible for a second booster four months after their most recent dose. This determination is between a healthcare professional and a patient.


There is now only one authorized monoclonal antibody in most of the country – bebtelovimab. The state currently has enough to meet demand in Kentucky. Two oral antivirals, molnupiravir and paxlovid are now available at many Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Kroger pharmacies. Physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants can prescribe these to eligible patients. Read more here. To follow more updates, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.



Participate in Survey on Mental Health Services for DHH


If you are a deaf or hard of hearing adult Kentucky resident, you are invited to take part in a research study titled, “An Investigation into the Availability and Quality of Mental Health Services for the Deaf Community of Kentucky.” This anonymous study is being conducted by Alaina Milam of Eastern Kentucky University. You will not be asked to provide any identifying information. If you wish to participate, please click here.





Summer Camps for DHH Children and Teens


Gallaudet University has released information about upcoming summer camps, family learning vacations, and remedial clinics for deaf and hard of hearing children and teens. Some programs are designed for the entire family. Most camps require small application fees. Camp information is received from various organizations across the United States and can be viewed by clicking here.



Kentucky Hands & Voices Family Retreat


Do you have a child with hearing loss between the ages of five and 17? Make plans to join Kentucky Hands & Voices on October 14-16 at the Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, Kentucky for an amazing family retreat. IT'S FREE! Space is limited, so apply early. Activities include fishing, archery, mini golf, swimming, horseback riding, crafts, woodworking, and more! Register here.



RIT/NTID Offering In-Person Summer Programs for DHH

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NIT) in Rochester, N.Y., is providing summer program experiences designed for deaf and hard of hearing middle school and high school students. The programs are presented in American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English, are certified by the New York State Department of Health, and incorporate National Science Education Standards. Health Care Careers Exploration Program, scheduled for July 23-28, is for students entering 10th-, 11th-, or 12th grade who are interested in a career in the health care field. TechBoyz™ and TechGirlz™ programs, scheduled for July 23-28, are designed to help students learn about and consider jobs and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. For more information and to apply, contact Mark Sommer, director of NTID Pre-College Outreach, at 585-475-7695 (voice), 585-286-4555 (videophone) or click here.



KCDHH Commission Board Vacancies


There are four vacancies on the Board of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH).


KCDHH is looking for enthusiastic, creative individuals who are eager to be involved in the next phase of advocacy, education, and change in the government of the Commonwealth.


For more information, please click here.



KCDHH TAP Advisory Board Vacancies


KCDHH has three vacancies on its Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) Advisory Board, which advises the TAP on assistive technology for deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired consumers. KCDHH is looking for enthusiastic, creative individuals eager to participate in the TAP’s mission to provide access to telecommunications for deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired consumers in the state of Kentucky through the distribution of specialized telecommunications equipment. Individuals interested in the speech-impaired consumer representative seat or the two deaf seats should submit a statement of interest and a current resumé to Jessica Endler, TAP Program Coordinator, 632 Versailles Road, Frankfort, KY 40601or email Jessica at jessica.endler@ky.gov.




April’s (2022) KCDHH Spotlight Q&A is with Jessica Endler Smith, who is Program Coordinator at KCDHH. Smith’s hometown is Louisville, where she graduated from Butler Traditional High School. She earned her billing/coding certificate from Jefferson Community & Technical College. Smith is married to Jeremy and is mother to Morgan and bonus mom to Mykayla, Mykenzie, and Mason. They live in Shelbyville. Click here for the full story.



2022 TDI Scholarship Deadline, May 13


Now in its fourth year, the TDI Communication Access Scholarship Program is accepting applications. This program is available to all deaf and hard-of-hearing students graduating from high school this year. The scholarship application encourages deaf and hard-of-hearing students to innovate and bring forth ideas for addressing the communication challenges that the deaf and hard-of-hearing community faces. Applications can be completed online or can also be mailed and must be postmarked by the May 13, 2022. Applicants will be notified before September of the award. For full scholarship details on eligibility, requirements, and application, click on the photo below.





ALDAcon 2022 Registration Is Officially Open!


ALDAcon registration has officially opened for the October 19-23 convention in San Diego. That rate is $50 less than the Early Bird Special and a full $80 less than the full rate! Sign up now for some great savings to reserve your space. Remember you must be a member to take advantage of the lower rates and our EZ Pay Plan. Sign up or renew your membership now to take advantage of this amazing discount! Do you know someone who would enjoy ALDAcon? You can gift them a membership!


Scholarships Available to Attend ALDAcon 2022


If you need financial help in order to attend ALDAcon 2022, you may be eligible to receive an ALDAcon scholarship. Scholarships can provide up to full registration and hotel costs. The requirements to apply are:

•You are a current paid-up member of ALDA or are willing to become one

•You are deaf or hard of hearing

•You have genuine need of financial support to attend ALDAcon 2022

•You plan to attend all 5 days and commit to participating in daily workshops and other conference activities.

•You have not previously been awarded two scholarships to ALDAcon.


If you answered "yes" to these questions, then you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship to attend ALDAcon 2022. Click here for complete information concerning scholarship requirements and the scholarship application process.


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.





Google Updating Live Transcribe to Translate Audio/Video


Google Live Transcribe now allows you to translate speech offline, anytime and anywhere. To assist those individuals who suffer from hearing loss, Google is upgrading the Live Transcribe that will now let you translate videos as well as audios from the device, even when offline. Read more here.


Snapchat New Lens Helps Users Learn ASL Alphabet


Snap is launching a new Snapchat lens that can help you learn American Sign Language (ASL). It’s called ASL Alphabet Lens, and Snapchat is launching it in partnership with SignAll, a company that has built technology that can translate sign language. Visit here for more info.









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




632 Versailles Road

Frankfort, KY 40601

502-573-2604 V | 502-416-0607 VP | 800-372-2907 Toll Free

kcdhh.ky.gov | kcdhh@ky.gov