A N N O U N C E M E N T
NOT WITHOUT US
Survey for People With Hearing Loss
This message is to let you know about a survey to improve services for Michigan citizens who have a hearing loss. It is part of a research project being conducted by Michigan’s Department of Civil Rights’ Division on Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (DODDBHH), which in this message will referred to as the “Division.” Your response to this survey is very important! Please take time to read through this entire message.
The survey is provided to people who are Deaf, DeafBlind or Hard of Hearing and once you indicate your hearing identity, you will receive questions appropriate to your hearing loss. The survey could take approximately 1/2 hour. You can take breaks and return to it at another time. At the beginning of the survey, you may be asked to enter a code number which may or may not be available. We suggest you not enter a code number even if it is available. If there are questions that seem confusing, answer them to the best of your ability. To take the survey, go to:
At the end of the survey there is a place for you to enter comments regarding services you would like to see provided by the Division. Liz Kobylak, HLAA-MI Chapter Coordinator, and Ann Liming, HLAA-MI Advocacy Committee Chair, have served on the Division Advisory Council for several years and share facts here that might guide you in suggestions you make for improved services to our population.
First, all staff are deaf and communicate using American Sign Language. The majority of people who are hard of hearing use technology – hearing aids and/or cochlear implants – and hearing assistive technology. We find that when individuals or employees of state offices, courtrooms, businesses, etc., need assistance with communication access, they do not go to the Division for this service as there is no one there with the needed expertise. What qualifies people who are deaf to have expertise for serving people who are hard of hearing and vice versa?
Outreach approaches are generally specific to deaf culture and unlikely to attract the attention of people who are hard of hearing. As members of the Advisory Council we have never been asked in advance for input that would improve experiences for people who are hard of hearing. How will you know when the Division Advisory Council meets or town hall meetings are held? Announcements that are signed, captioned and accessible to DeafBlind are posted on YouTube. How will you know when these announcements are posted?
If you go to the Division website – https://www.michigan.gov/mdcr/0,4613,7-138-28545_77076-389040–,00.html – you will find information for how to find an interpreter but there is no information for how to make contact for Communication Access RealTime Translation (CART/captioning) or where to go to purchase hearing assistive technology (personal communicators, alerting devices, etc.).
If you go to the Division’s Facebook home page – www.facebook.com/doddbhh – you will find artwork with the letters D E A F and with people sitting around a table signing. Do you feel this is inclusive of all communities served by the Division?
These are some of the concerns Liz & Ann have and have addressed many times. They cannot bring about change by themselves. Please evaluate the information provided here and make suggestions that seem appropriate to you.
Thank you for taking the survey!