The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH), in partnership with the Kansas State School for the Deaf and the Deaf Cultural Center, hosted Deaf and Hard of Hearing Day at the Capitol today, at the State Capitol Building, Topeka. The event drew more than 50 deaf and hard of hearing students from across Kansas, and offered presentations from community partners, 16 informational booths and gave students a chance to meet with their local legislators. Interpreters were on hand throughout the day to assist with conversation.
“The main goal of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Day at the Capitol is to provide information about resources and services available at the State level for deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their families,” KCDHH Executive Director Robert Cooper said. “It’s also a chance for service providers to learn about partners that are available, so that relationships can be built and programs can be strengthened.”
KCDHH is a part of the Rehabilitation Services (RS) division of the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). The mission of KCDHH is to advocate for and facilitate equal access to quality, coordinated and comprehensive services that enhance the life of Kansans who are deaf and hard of hearing. They do this through employment services, vocational rehabilitation services and public awareness programs. They also ensure that deaf or hard of hearing children who are temporarily misplaced from their homes are matched with foster parents who have the appropriate resources and skills needed to properly care for them. Every year, the KCDHH assists 200-400 deaf and hard of hearing Kansans.
“It’s important for the public to know that deaf and hard of hearing people can do anything; we just have communication challenges sometimes,” Cooper said. “We don’t speak the same language, but we are just like everyone else. We can do any work that any other Kansas taxpayer can do.”
KCDHH Executive Director Robert Cooper addresses more than 50 deaf and hard of hearing students at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Day at the Capitol on March 8, Topeka.