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     VOLUME 39, NO. 5                                                              MAY, 2021

 

Gov. Announces Final Capacity Limits End June 11

 

On May 14, Gov. Andy Beshear said the state’s emerging economy is set for liftoff as final capacity restrictions related to COVID-19 will end Friday, June 11.

 

Gov. Beshear said the proven effectiveness of vaccinations and expanded vaccine eligibility to include 12- to 15-year-olds is allowing the commonwealth to safely and sustainably ease restrictions. With about 1.9 million Kentuckians vaccinated, the Governor said everyone who is eligible should be able to get a dose of a safe and effective vaccine ahead of June 11. Watch the full press briefing by clicking on the photo below. Read the press release by clicking here.

 

 

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health answers questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in the video below.

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DHH Vaccine Clinic Day: Interpreters Available

 

Louisville Metro Government will host a Clinic Day for deaf and hard of hearing residents from anywhere in Kentucky on Saturday, June 19, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Louisville Recovery Community Center, 620 South Third Street.

 

Interpreters will be available during vaccinations. Please feel free to ask any questions or concerns you have regarding the vaccine. Confirm your attendance by Thursday, June 17 by emailing your name and time of attendance to Blake Noland, information coordinator for KCDHH, at blake.noland@ky.gov.

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Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Opens

 

On May 12, Gov. Beshear encouraged eligible Kentuckians to apply for a newly available discount through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help temporarily reduce their cost of home internet services.

 

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a FCC program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. A household is eligible if one member of the family meets at least one of the criteria below:

 

·        Has an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;

·        Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;

·        Received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

·        Experienced a substantial reduction in income through job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or

·        Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

 

The program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

 

To learn more about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, who is eligible and how to apply, click the video below.

Visit GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and find participating providers near you or call 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. EDT for a mail-in application. Be sure to include proof of eligibility and return to: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.

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REAL-ID 19-Month Extension Announced

 

Gov. Beshear announced on April 28 that Kentucky and

other states have been advised by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that full enforcement of the REAL ID Act is being extended by 19 months.

 

The extension will give license issuance agencies time to recover operating capacity that was restricted to abide by health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information is at www.realidky.com. Read the full press release by clicking on the driver’s license photo below.

 

Matthew Cole, Transportation Cabinet, Division of Driver Licensing , explains in a KCDHH Coffee Chat vlog, the opening of regional offices and documents drivers will need to secure their REAL ID or standard driver’s license.  You can also visit the websites below for more information on obtaining driver’s license.

Drive.ky.gov

IDocument Guide

Schedule an Appointment

 

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KCDHH Reopens for CASLI Testing

 

The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) is reopening its doors for eligible candidates to take their Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI) interpreter performance exams. KCDHH temporarily closed due to COVID-19 in 2020. Even though COVID-19 is still a risk, Local Test Administrators (LTA) have established precautionary safety measures to ensure the safest environment possible for taking exams. At the current time, KCDHH will only be administering exams on Fridays and ask those who schedule exams at the KCDHH location, 632 Versailles Road, Frankfort, to wear a mask and practice social distancing when appropriate. If you have questions about eligibility for taking an exam, contact testing@casli.org. If you would like to schedule your exam at KCDHH please email kcdhh.access@ky.gov. For more information, visit CASLI by clicking the logo below.

 

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Hearing Loss Common, Yet Often Ignored by Adults

 

With an estimated 48 million Americans experiencing hearing loss, KCDHH is encouraging the public to act on the early signs of trouble – for the benefit of their health, cognitive well-being, physical safety, and overall quality of life – during national Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) in May. Nearly 700,000, or 16%, of Kentuckians are deaf and hard of hearing.

 

For more information, visit the KCDHH website at kcdhh.ky.gov. KCDHH is in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Click on the logo below to read the full article.

 

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KCDHH Offers Communication Visor Cards

 

As part of National Police Week, May 9-15, KCDHH wants to remind  Kentuckians that Communication Visor Cards are available to help minimize communication barriers with law enforcement officers. These cards, also available to law enforcement agencies and offices,  will guide consumers and officers in providing the appropriate accommodations to meet your unique communication needs if and when it becomes necessary. Click on the cards below for more information.

 

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EWDC Interview with Virginia Moore

 

Virginia Moore, KCDHH’s Executive Director, talked with JT Henderson, Education Workforce Development Cabinet Executive Director of Communications, about the agency and her work with Gov. Beshear during the pandemic. View the full video by clicking on the photo below.

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Kentucky Hands & Voices SuperHEARo 5k May 29

 

Kentucky Hands & Voices will host its 4th annual SuperHEARo 5K at White Hall State Historic Site, 500 White Hall Shrine Road, in

Richmond on Saturday, May 29. In addition to an in-person event at White Hall, there will also be a virtual option so you can join from near or far! Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite superhero. Please stay up-to-date by following our Facebook event. Click the logo below to register.

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Vaccination Sites Can Administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines to Kentuckians Ages 12-15

 

Gov. Andy Beshear announced May 12 that state vaccination sites can now administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to Kentuckians age 12 to 15. The Governor’s announcement was made on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization, which supports use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine among those 12 years of age and older, and subsequent approval for the usage among younger Americans from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

During the May 12 briefing on COVID-19, Gov. Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, also announced the state’s transition to a federal website – vaccines.gov – that allows Kentuckians to search nearby vaccination sites and filter the search by vaccine brand: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and/or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.

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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 participants receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Use vaccines.gov 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 as 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.

 

Camp Mark Seven (CM7), Old Forge, NY

10 Camps beginning June 13

CM7 offers an array of recreational, educational, leadership and spiritual programs for DHH and hearing individuals of all ages.

 

Indiana Deaf Camp, Milford, IN

June 13-June 18

Counselor-in-training program to teach leadership/communication skills while having fun.

 

Gallaudet Summer Youth Webinars:  (Virtual)

June 21-25, June 28-July 2, or July 6-July 9:

Sign up for the Got Skills?, Immerse into ASL, Deaf Youth Pride or Deaf Biz webinars.

 

Kentucky  Lion’s Camp, Lebanon Junction, KY

June 28 to July 2

The Kentucky Lions Camp for DHH for children, ages six to 15.

 

National Association of the Deaf Youth Leadership Camp, Camp Taloali, Stayton, Oregon

July 5-July 17

An intensive educational four-week, virtual summer program for DHH high school sophomores and juniors.

 

Gallaudet Virtual Camp Discovery

July 5-16 & July 19-30

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

 

Explore Your Future, Rochester, NY (Virtual)

July 11-July 14, 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 kcdhh@ky.gov.

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HLAA Opens 2021 Conference Registration

 

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) will hold its annual conference virtually on June 24-26. Participants will learn the latest about hearing health, communication access and the technologies and strategies that help people with hearing loss live well. This three-day event includes a research symposium on Hearing Care for All, and robust workshops on advances in hearing aids, accessibility through mobile devices, hearing access in the workplace and more. An interactive Exhibit Hall will allow participants to talk one-on-one with industry representatives about the latest in assistive technologies. Participants can create a profile to chat with other attendees, view live workshops and interact with exhibitors on our virtual platform by Showcare.

•Register now through June 15 for $35.

•Beginning June 16, registration is $45.

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Ohio Association of the Deaf Day Special Events

 

The Ohio Association of the Deaf will be hosting:

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

·        Deaf Day at King’s Island: June 26 and October 16

Visit http://www.oad-deaf.org/events.html or click here for more information.

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May’s KCDHH Spotlight Q&A is Geraldine “Gerry” Gordon-Brown, who represents the Kentucky Association of the Deaf on KCDHH’s Commission Board. Gerry is from Louisville and is a graduate of Central (KY) High School. Gerry graduated from Kentucky State College where she earned a bachelor of arts in sociology. She also earned a master of arts from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. Gerry holds a certificate of completion in the Federal Government’s Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) program. She also holds a graduate certificate of completion in the Peer Mentor Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Gallaudet University. She retired from the Commonwealth of Kentucky as Director of the Client Assistance Program in 2015. Since retiring, Gerry has volunteered and served with numerous organizations including KCDHH’s Commission Board, KCDHH’s Telecommunication Access Program (TAP) Advisory Board, Carl Braden Memorial Center Board for Social Justice, KATS Network Advisory Council (Disability Solutions Through Technology) and the Coalition for the Homeless Board. Gerry resides in Louisville, has one daughter, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. To read Gerry’s Spotlight, click here.

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KCDHH Seeking Advisory TAP Board Members

 

KCDHH’s Telecommunication Access Program (TAP) Advisory Board now has four vacancies. If you are interested in serving on the board, please view the video below and the TAP website at: https://www.kcdhh.ky.gov/oea/ttyboard.html 

 

Contact Jessica Endler Smith for more information at jessica.endler@ky.gov.

 

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How to Turn TikTok Captions On or Off When Watching Videos

 

Click the TikTok logo below to see everything you need to know about how to turn TikTok's auto captions feature on and off when watching videos.

 

SLAIT’s Real-Time Sign Language Translation Promises

More Accessible Online Communication

 

American Sign Language is used by millions of people around the world, but there’s no automatic translation available for those who do not sign. SLAIT claims the first such tool available for general use, which can translate around 200 words and simple sentences to start — using nothing but an ordinary computer and webcam. Read the article here. See how it works by clicking the video below.

 

 

New AI-Based Game Teaches Families Basics of ASL

 

Singing along to the ABC's is one of the first lessons we get as kids. For families with deaf and hard of hearing children, that lesson isn't any less important, with visual languages replacing auditory stimulus as a crucial part of early development.  Digital creative studio Hello Monday, in collaboration with the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC), wants to address this through its new online game, fingerspelling.xyz. Using machine learning, the game hopes to provide families with the building blocks of a signed language. Read the article here. See how it works by clicking on the video below.

 

 

Light-Sensing Technology Boosts Hearing Aids

 

Understanding spoken words, developing normal speech - cochlear implants enable people with profound hearing impairment to gain a great deal in terms of quality of life. However, background noises are problematic and significantly compromise the comprehension of speech of people with cochlear implants. Read the full article here.

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PLEASE VISIT KCDHH’S

IF YOU HAVE AN EVENT YOU’D LIKE TO LIST

ON THE CALENDAR, PLEASE EMAIL US AT:

kcdhh@ky.gov

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COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

 

International:

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

 

National:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Vaccines.gov

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

 

Kentucky:

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

 

Apps:

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  

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  

KENTUCKY COMMISSION ON THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING

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