Hello! I am Grace Shirk-Emmons, member at Large with Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf (PSAD). Remember I made a vlog about Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) last May, I believe. I want to update you all. ODHH director was let go. It has been really quiet lately. OVR posted job opening for the director and it was posted just for two weeks. There were interviews and 6 were selected for second round. The second round interviews never happened. It just has been quiet. Some thinks it is because Labor of Industry secretary moved to a new job and new one came into the job. But I do not think L&I secretary would be doing the hiring. I don’t know why the delay happened. That’s alright. I still want ODHH director to be fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and know and understand deaf community.
At the beginning of ODHH, they were in Office of Administrative and really had a close relationship with governor. ODHH was moved to Labor of Industry then moved down yet again to OVR which is several levels away from governor. In past, there was 5 working in ODHH, director, secretary and three representatives. One of representatives retired over a year ago and his position was never filled then director was let go. Now there is just 3. Secretary and two representatives. Each representative covers 33 counties each. A lot of traveling and work trying to cover all counties.
PSAD has been watching and monitoring this for several months now. We want Harrisburg to see that there is a real need to fill all positions in ODHH. 3 representatives, director and secretary. I feel, do deaf community out there get full services from ODHH? I really don’t know. So I would like to have your opinions, stories and experiences with what is happening with ODHH. How? Make vlog or typed text, yes we will post that on our Facebook page, PSADezine and any other publications we have. Again to make sure you are aware that those will be posted in public postings. It will not left quietly. It will be posted. Do not worry about clear English in text. We will help clean up and make it clear for you. You can ask your friends or family to help you or do it yourself. There will be help. With all postings, I hope Harrisburg will see them and realize how very vital ODHH is to the deaf, deaf/blind and hard of hearing. We want Harrisburg realize that they can’t just leave ODHH as it is now. Harrisburg need to do something about this and get moving on this. It is bad to leave ODHH like this for so long.
Send all vlogs and texts to firstname.lastname@example.org