News, Information and Ideas on how to deal with hearing loss in a hearing world. Plus a few other topics!
For those that are not aware of this, every State has Governor Councils. These Councils are appointed via the Governors' office and there are many opportunities for persons interested in different causes to actually have a voice in getting things done. If you would like to see the many opportunities in Wisconsin, just go to the Governors' website and click on the Council link. Here's the one for Wisconsin: www.wisgov.state.wi.us/Default.aspx
I currently serve on the Council for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf/Blind. I've been doing it for over 3 years now. The Council meets 4 times a year and there are 9 members on it. We look at the needs and services of this segment of the population in Wisconsin and try to advocate for things that can improve their life as well as their abilities to succeed. While it can be frustrating at times to try and get things done, it's also a great way to know what is really happening at the State level.
We currently have 6 members on our Council. We need 9! We cannot have a formal meeting unless we have a quorum (6 in attendance). Thus, the need for 9 people. No, we don't get paid to go to Madison and spend 6 hours in a meeting, but there is the option of getting paid for your travel. I opt not to do that due to the fact that I learn so many things at this level that I would never know if I didn't belong to the group. No, we don't hobnob with all of the elected officials. So, if you are thinking that this might be a way to get someones' ear in a higher place, you probably will be disappointed. No, it's not all Republicans. To be quite honest, I really don't know which side of the Political Fence any of the Appointees are on. And, I really don't care since it ultimately does not make a difference in what we are trying to achieve.
If you would be interested in applying for one of these positions, just go to the link above and click on the Council that you would be interested in being chosen for. Our group is looking for 1 Hard of Hearing person, 1 Deaf person and 1 Blind or Deaf/Blind person. Yes, we have various modes of communication at our meetings. So, if you communicate using ASL, we do have translators. We also have CART for those wanting to be able to read what is going on in real time. The meeting room that we use is also set up with a Loop system for those that have hearing aids with a t-coil program on them.
Some of the things that we have been a part of in the past include:
1. Helping to get the 'Let Kids' Hear' Bill passed in 2009.
2. Emergency Preparedness for the D/HOH/Blind
3. Better Licensing requirements for Interpreters in the State.
4. Tackling topics like Mental Health Services, job development and Independent Living needs.
Currently, our meetings are held in March, June, September and December. They usually start around 9:30am and end by 4:00pm. We meet in the Health Services Building just down from the Capitol. And, yes, they do feed us a light lunch. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or better yet, send an email via the website link above. We'd love to have you on our team!
Have a great week!