Honoring the Changemakers

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948

From the playground to the legislature, thank you changemakers! MNCDHH cannot do its work without the many changemakers who do little and big things every day to create positive change in the deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing communities. It is not possible to name all who deserve recognition here, but below are just a few in the community who MNCDHH has formally recognized with awards or who have been recognized by other organizations for their contributions. We thank them, and hope this inspiring list helps to motivate others to action.

2013 Awards Ceremony – March 6th in the State Capitol Rotunda

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Peggy Camp: Peggy Camp is originally from North Dakota, where she attended the North Dakota School for the Deaf before heading to Gallaudet University. She has worked with Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) for 22 years, and currently recruits students for the Adult Basic Education program as well as other community education classes and tracks their progress. Prior to CSD, she was the Eye-to-Eye coordinator for 10 years at the Deafness Education and Advocacy Foundation agency, which matched deaf tutors who taught literacy skills to adult deaf learners.

Peggy has recruited and helped teach thousands of students to improve basic literacy skills, citizenship skills, math skills, English skills, GED, Post-Secondary, pass the Accuplacer and obtain jobs. She loves her job because she can use her native language, American Sign Language, with staff and students. Additionally, ever-changing technology has greatly improved her ability to reach people of the many cultures immigrating to the United States. This has led to many of those immigrants becoming American citizens.  In her spare time, she likes to babysit her grandchildren and make quilts for donation to various charities.

Susan Rose: Susan Rose is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Educational Psychology. She graduated from Marquette University, attended Gallaudet University and received her master’s degree from the University of Kansas, where she specialized in the education of deaf, hard of hearing children with multiple disabilities. She later earned a doctorate from The Ohio State University.

Susan has taught in Milwaukee and Rochester, N.Y., and also worked as an educational specialist in Ohio for adolescents and young adults who were deaf with mental illness. Before coming to the University of Minnesota in 1983, she was a faculty member at The Ohio State University.

Over the past four decades, her teaching and research has focused on improving information access and literacy. With grant awards of more than $5 million to support the University of Minnesota’s program in teacher preparation and technology development, the common thread throughout her work has been to provide all deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and hearing persons, with equal access to information and the ability to use that information for improving their and other people’s lives. Her work includes the revision of a reading series, Reading Milestones, the establishment of the American Sign Language Program as a world language at the University of Minnesota, and in collaboration with her co-workers, the development of computer-based technology tools now used nationally for instruction and progress monitoring. Susan’s work has received national and international recognition.

Bruce Hodek: Bruce Hodek recently retired from a 37-year career in public service. In the Department of Human Services Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD), he served as the regional manager for the Metro office, assistant director and as the division director for the past 17 years. Bruce’s accomplishments are many. He led the development of numerous new services for people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing, such as the implementation of the DHHSD regional offices’ mental health program, the restructuring of community-based mental health services for adults who are deaf and use sign language, the development of a consumer-directed services model, the design of the American Sign Language mentor program for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, the expansion of the Telephone Equipment Distribution program to include statewide outreach work, the development of mental health services specifically for children who have hearing loss, the ongoing redesign of sign language interpreter referral services to focus on gaps in the marketplace, and implementation of TV news captioning in smaller Minnesota communities. In recent years of significant budget reductions, Bruce successfully led the reorganization of DHHS regional offices to maintain the infrastructure necessary to support the most vulnerable Minnesotans with hearing loss.

Grassroots Advocacy Award
Adrean Clark: Adrean Clark is a stay-at-home mom and freelancer illustrator who has always been passionate about American Sign Language. She learned that there was a White House Web site where anyone could post petitions and that if a petition got more than 25,000 signatures, it would get a response from the U.S. President. Within 48 hours of her posting a petition requesting federal recognition of American Sign Language, the petition had 8,000 signatures. Adrean, realizing that the petition had struck a chord, worked with other supporters to help garner at least 25,000 petition—resulting in a snowball effect. A Web site was set up, vlogs were posted, the National Association of the Deaf endorsed it, and two video relay service companies contributed professionally-produced videos in support. These efforts inspired the establishment of a new nonprofit organization called ASL For America. The White House has confirmed that a response is forthcoming. In the meantime, the petition now stands at over 33,500 signatures.

Citizen Advocate Award
Monique Hammond: Monique was born and raised in Luxembourg, Europe. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree with high distinction in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota. When Monique experienced permanent and sudden onset of hearing loss a few years ago, her world totally changed; she found it difficult to continue to work in her noisy work environment. Discovering that it is not easy to navigate the medical system, Monique experienced years of frustration and became a full-time advocate. She turned the hard lessons she learned into a book for the estimated 4,000 people annually who experience a sudden onset of hearing loss.

In addition to Monique’s advocacy, serving on the state Hearing Aid Dispenser Advisory Committee and working tirelessly to increase membership with the Hearing Loss Association of America Minnesota chapter, she has volunteered by providing 24 presentations across the state educating groups about preventable, noise-induced hearing loss and working with Lions Clubs to provide hearing aids to children who do not have insurance coverage.

Exemplary Access Award
Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport/Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC): In 2010, the Federal Aviation Commission issued rules that required all airports to become accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. The Metropolitan Airport Commission and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport staff vowed to make its airport a leader in this area. They did so by engaging the deaf and hard of hearing community and the Commission in responding to the new mandates. In pursuit of this goal, the airport found that the changes implemented ended up benefitting every traveler in addition to deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing travelers. For example, business travelers talking on cellphones also benefit from visual paging and text alternatives for loudspeaker announcements.

Some of the accessible features available at MSP include:
· Visual paging on flight information screens, baggage information screens and paging only screens at all information desks as well as a live website paging page.
· Many of the public payphones at MSP are hearing-aid compatible, and payphones with TTY and/or video relay service capabilities are available in 15 locations throughout the airport.
· The airport offers a web-based interpreting service in sign language, delivered through a computer outfitted with a built-in camera. This allows airport staff and patrons who use American Sign Language to communicate better.
· Airport employees receive specialized training on communicating with deaf and hard of hearing travelers.
· Visual emergency alert devices are available throughout terminals (this project is nearing completion).
· All emergency-related messages, including severe weather information and evacuations, are provided visually on the weather screens, co-located with the flight information screens, as well as at all information booths.
· All television programming are closed-captioned.
· New accessible website standards have been incorporated.
· New digital way-finding directories have been installed.
· The airport website is accessible specifically for deaf and hard of hearing travelers.
· Service Animal/Pet Relief areas have been added to the airport.

MSP is now an international leader in exemplary access, the airport has had visitors from several locations looking to it as a model accessibility provider. The best part of all this, of course, is that the airport has a great partnership and friendship with the Commission and the deaf and hard of hearing communities! We are very pleased with how MAC and the airport have been very committed to customer feedback and incorporating suggestions.

The Commission gives thanks to the MAC Board and Steve Wareham and his staff for their leadership in this issue.

To learn more visit the MSP Airport web page at MSP Accessibility

2011 Awards Ceremony – March 2nd in the State Capitol Rotunda

  • Life Time Achievement Awards: Alan Parnes for his lifelong commitment to advocacy in employment and Marian Hausladen for her advocacy in education.
  • Grass Roots Advocacy Award: Metro Deaf School for their successful advocacy for legislation that saved their school in 2010.
  • Citizen Advocate Award: Sherri Rademacher for her ongoing advocacy with news stations and candidates for public office to follow federal and state captioning laws.
  • Agency Partner Awards: Office of Enterprise Technology and Department of Administration for their excellent work in leading, adopting and implementing state technology accessibility standards. Accessibility Leadership Awards: Betsy Hayes, Rena Rogers, Colleen Wieck for their extraordinary work in implementing the law. Newly appointed Commissioners Spencer Cronk of Admin and Carolyn Parnell of OET accepted the awards. The Legislative Coordinating Commission, Senate Media Services and House Media Services for their implementation of live captioning of floor sessions and committee hearings.
  • Accessible News Outlet Media Excellence: The Uptake was the only media outlet that covered candidates’ captioning of ads during the 2010 campaign. This resulted in more candidates complying with the state candidate captioning law. The Uptake also voluntarily captioned every gubernatorial debate online.
  • Accessible NonProfit Captioning Excellence: The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits adopted a policy of captioning all of its online videos.
  • Most Accessible Campaign Awards: Tom Emmer, Governor Mark Dayton, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Tom Horner, Congressman Tim Walz all received awards for captioning their campaign ads.
  • Advocacy Through the Arts Award: Barbara Allen, Nancy Meyers and Anita Buel for their extraordinary film, “Signing On”. This film will change the way doctors treat patients and will empower people who are deaf to get the health care services they need in American Sign Language.
  • Community Justice Award: Officer Chad Koch initiated programs within the St. Paul Police Department to provide education to officers and outreach to the Deaf community.

2009 Awards Ceremony – March 4th in State Capitol Rotunda

Most Accessible Campaign of 2008: Al Franken

Lifetime Achievement and Leadership Award: Marty Barnum

Community Organizer Awards:
Alicia Lane-Outlaw and Richard Taylor: TCDeaf.com
Sonny Wasilowski: Deafminnesota.com
Ade Haugen: DBM (DeafBlind MN Listserv)
Candace Lindow Davies: Minnesota Hands and Voices

Civil Service and Civic Engagement Awards:
Advocacy & Civil Service: John Gross of Minnesota Department of Commerce
Civic Engagement: Teika Pakalns and Trudy Suggs
Agency Partner: Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disability
Voting Access: Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State
Exemplary Access: The Legislative Coordinating Commission
Website Access: Minnesota Legislative Networking Group

National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion Award
Presented by Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, to Emory Dively & Trudy Suggs


Our Champions!

Rep. Bill Hilty : Candidate Campaign Ad Captioning
Rep. Jeremy Kalin : MCDHH Name Change & Electronic Meetings
Sen. Tony Lourey : MCDHH Name Change & Electronic Meetings
Sen. Ann Lynch : Newborn Screening & Hearing Aid Loaner Bank (cont.)
Sen. Ann Rest : Legislation for Political Process Access
Sen. Dave Senjem : Dedication for Individuals who are Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing

State Systems Access Award

Minnesota Courts Access: Katrin Johnson


Our Champions!

Sen. Linda Berglin : Funds for SSPs and Intervenors
Sen. Scott Dibble transition from school to Work/Higher Ed.
Rep. Patti Fritz : Dedication to Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing People
Rep. Mindy Greiling : EHDI Education Coordinator
Rep. Bob Gunther : Increased Funds for MCDHH
Rep. Tom Huntley : Hearing Aid Loaner Bank
Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher : Early Hearing Detection & Intervention
Sen. Ann Lynch : Hearing Aid Loaner Bank
Sen. John Marty : Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
Sen. James Metzen : Funding for MCDHH
Rep. Erin Murphy : Parent Guides
Rep. Mary Murphy : Funds for VECTOR
Rep. Mary Olson : Deaf Mentor
Sen. Dallas Sams : Employment and Consumer Protection
Rep. Marty Seifert : Newborn Screening Mandate
Sen. Dave Senjem : Newborn Hearing Screening Mandate
Rep. Anthony Sertich : Hearing Aids (all 0-18)
Sen. Kathy Sheran : Parent Guides
Rep. Nora Slawik : EHDI Coordinator
Senator Sam Solon : Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
Sen. LeRoy Stumpf : Funds for State Academy of the Deaf
Rep. Kathy Tingelstad : Ongoing Support & Advice
Sen. David Tomassoni : Hearing Aids (all 0-18)
Sen. Charles Wiger : Statewide EHDI Coordinator

Advocacy & Leadership Awards

Access to Civic Education & Engagement: Secretary of State Mark Ritchie
Access to Justice: Rick MacPherson, Attorney, Minnesota Disability Law Center
Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Champion: Penny Hatcher
Access to the Arts: Stacia Rice
Best Ex-Officio Board Member: Bruce Hodek
Citizen Advocate: Rhonda Sivarajah and Jamie Taylor
Community Partner: Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens
Exemplary Community Service: Jan Florand