Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0528
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Full Text of SR0528  100th General Assembly




SR0528LRB100 12828 MST 26605 r


2    WHEREAS, There are over 384,000 individuals in Illinois who
3are deaf or have a severe hearing loss; and
4    WHEREAS, There are over two million individuals in Illinois
5who have mild to severe hearing loss; and
6    WHEREAS, In Illinois, there are nearly 500 children who are
7identified with a hearing loss each year; and
8    WHEREAS, Hearing loss can happen at any point from birth to
9late adulthood; and
10    WHEREAS, About 2.4 million people in the United States are
11DeafBlind; and
12    WHEREAS, In Illinois, there are about 655 DeafBlind
13individuals, but statistics regarding populations with hearing
14loss may be underreported due to individuals denying or
15refusing to admit as having any kind of hearing or vision loss;
17    WHEREAS, The needs and interests of the deaf, hard of
18hearing, and DeafBlind community are diverse; and



SR0528- 2 -LRB100 12828 MST 26605 r

1    WHEREAS, In 1995, various leaders in the deaf and hard of
2hearing community began discussions for the necessity of a
3governmental body in Illinois to focus on the needs of
4individuals with hearing loss; and
5    WHEREAS, The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission was
6established in 1997 to be the coordinating and advocating body
7that acts on behalf of the interests of persons in Illinois who
8are deaf or hard of hearing, including children, adults, senior
9citizens, and those with any additional disability; and
10    WHEREAS, News reports and various citizens, including
11individuals with hearing loss, have raised concerns that the
12Commission has been unable to serve the community to the best
13of its ability; therefore, be it
15ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge the Office of
16the Governor to work in collaboration with the Deaf and Hard of
17Hearing Commission to develop a report of recommendations to
18help ensure the Commission is better able to serve the deaf,
19hard of hearing, and DeafBlind community; and be it further
20    RESOLVED, That at a minimum, the final report shall include
21an analysis of and recommendations on the following issues:



SR0528- 3 -LRB100 12828 MST 26605 r

1        (1) Hiring freezes placed on or at the Commission;
2        (2) Any official orders that limit the functions of the
3    Commission, including orders that have come from the Office
4    of the Governor, the Governor's Office of Management and
5    Budget, the Department of Central Management Services, or
6    any other appropriate entities;
7        (3) Whether the transfer of the administration of the
8    Interpreter for the Deaf Licensure Act of 2007 to the
9    Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will
10    better benefit interpreters and the deaf, hard of hearing,
11    and DeafBlind community, and any positive and negative
12    effects the transfer would have, including, but not limited
13    to, any change in related fee amounts;
14        (4) Whether the Commission should be housed within the
15    Department of Human Services, and the report shall include,
16    at minimum, the following:
17            (a) If the move will provide the Commission with
18    more resources and administrative help so that it can focus
19    on providing specialized services for the deaf, hard of
20    hearing, and DeafBlind community; and
21            (b) If the move can allow for the Commission to



SR0528- 4 -LRB100 12828 MST 26605 r

1    operate as an independent entity and not create conflicts
2    of interest between the Department program staff who
3    currently serve deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind
4    populations, the Commission, and the populations that the
5    Commission serves; and
6        (5) Identifying groups or populations with hearing
7    loss that have been underserved or are not formally
8    recognized; and be it further
9    RESOLVED, That the Office of the Governor and the Deaf and
10Hard of Hearing Commission shall take input and testimony from
11individuals from the community to be included in the report;
12and be it further
13    RESOLVED, That the Office of the Governor and the Deaf and
14Hard of Hearing Commission shall develop a method to allow for
15individuals who prefer to remain anonymous to submit their
16input or testimony anonymously; and be it further
17    RESOLVED, That the Office of the Governor and the Deaf and
18Hard of Hearing Commission shall promulgate any developed
19methods to receive input from the community; and be it further
20    RESOLVED, That no later than January 1, 2018, the Office of
21the Governor and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission shall



SR0528- 5 -LRB100 12828 MST 26605 r

1submit a report of their findings and recommendations to the
2General Assembly; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That the Office of the Governor and the Deaf and
4Hard of Hearing Commission shall make this report available to
5the public, including, but not limited to, by posting it to the
6appropriate official agency website.