The Resource Agency history
- Agency history
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- The Dept. for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was established as a state agency under the Secretary of Human Resources by the 1972 General Assembly. Its predecessor was the Council on the Deaf. The Dept. is advised by a nine member board (Advisory Board to the Dept. for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) appointed by the governor. Four members of the board should be representatives of deaf-oriented professions, four should be hearing-impaired citizens and one member should be a parent of a hearing-impaired child. The board is responsible for the approval of long-range programs and reviews budget requests.
- The governor also appoints a director for the agency who is responsible for developing a program for statewide interpreter services for the hearing-impaired, providing training and technical assistance to service providers and the general public about hearing impairment, acting as an advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing, providing communications accessibility for hearing-impaired citizens through its Telecommunications Assistance Program, providing local and statewide outreach services and maintaining a register of hearing-impaired Virginians. This register is confidential and is used for needs assessment and research purposes. The Code of Virginia (63.1-85.1.1 et seq.) establishes the department as a communications bridge between those who are deaf or hard of hearing and hearing persons.
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