Email from Kenny Dehaan
As all director positions, having a leader in place to lead an organization is vital. There must be action soon to reinstate the director position soon for the wellbeing of the organization and to maintain the valuable services they provide for all Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people in the Commonwealth.
A letter from Frank Nemshick Jr.
603 N. Blue Ribbon Ave.
Harrisburg, PA 17112-2338
November 9, 2017
Honorable Thomas Wolf
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Bldg.
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Re: PA Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Dear Governor Wolf,
As a now retired person who has been totally deaf since the age of eight, I urge you to use your authority to see that the vacancy – since February 2017 – in the position of Director of the PA Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is filled as soon as possible.
It is my understanding that there are several applicants for the position in response to the announcement of the opening.
The Pa ODHH since 1988 has been performing vital roles in making public and private services communicatively accessible for deaf and hard of hearing persons.
Frank J. Nemshick,Jr.
cc: Ms. Elizabeth Hill, President
PA Society for the Advancement
of the Deaf, Inc.
Member at Large,
The state or wherever should hire another representative for Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing because I have called the ODHH of Lehigh Valley to advocate the person on the CDL reason and never receive the call after 2 weeks then finally respond back also we called the other representative of ODHH and didn’t respond back for the school district issue till too late and we should tell the state to concerned to rehire another person to work at ODHH and they need more people to be at ODHH.
We need the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing to continue with their services.
a letter from Pa Constituent Ronnie
November 8, 2017
It has come to my attention that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) and/or the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) has not filled in a new Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) Director.
It is my understanding from the grapevines that the ODHH Director has not been filled since April 2017 and an ODHH Representative has not been filled in at least a year. I ask with courtesy and respect for the DLI and/or OVR to hire a new ODHH Director who is fluent in both American Sign Language (ASL) including extensive knowledge and understanding about Deaf Culture and English as soon as possible because we, the deaf and hard of hearing people who depend on the PA ODHH, lost our top quality First Stop and AIR services with two vacant positions.
According to the ODHH website, “The Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (ODHH) is an office within the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry that serves all 67 counties. ODHH is your first stop on the path to learn about anything and everything related to hearing loss, such as services, technology, sign language interpreters, or laws that require equal access for people who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing.
ODHH is ready to serve as liaison, open doors, explain procedures and make referrals. No request is too small.” (Source: http://www.dli.pa.gov/Individuals/Disability-Services/odhh/Pages/default.aspx )
Is it our first stop with two vacant positions? Without a new ODHH Director and a Representative in place, it is not serving us as a liaison very well and closed the doors on us without proper procedures and withholding appropriate referrals. That means we, the deaf and hard of hearing constituents in the State of PA, are receiving less services and suffering more without an ODHH Director and a vacant representative staff.
Again, according to the ODHH website, “ODHH currently has four offices — Allentown, Harrisburg, Johnstown and Erie, and a total of five staff members.
ODHH provides three primary services, represented by the acronym AIR.
We ADVOCATE for people with hearing loss who are not receiving proper services from government or private agencies.
We distribute INFORMATION and answer questions on issues relevant to people with hearing loss.
We REFER people to appropriate organizations. ODHH is ready to serve as liaison, open doors, explain procedures and make referrals. No request is too small.”
I ask all of us as PA constituents to flood the DLI and/or OVR including your district House of Representatives and Senators in this state with our telephone calls, telecopier calls, electronic mails, first class letters, and social media advocating and/or demanding the DLI and/or OVR to fill in the ODHH Director who is fluent in ASL with extensive knowledge of Deaf Culture and English and a Representative without internal favoritism and politics as soon as possible to restore our top quality First Stop and AIR services.