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CSCDHH GA Newsletter - August 1998 Issue

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NOTE: This is an abbreviated version of the CSCDHH GA Newsletter. Articles not included have the article title in Italics. To get the full text of the newsletter, become a member of CSCDHH. Thank you!!


Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1609 19th Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122-2848
(206) 322-4996 V/TTY
(206) 720-3251 FAX
Email: cscdhh@cscdhh.org
Interpreter Referral Service (206) 322-5551 V/TTY

GA Newsletter
August 1998, Vol. 17, No. 8

Americans with Disabilities Act,

Title I QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS WITH A DISABILITY

As individuals with disabilities, even when we had qualifications for certain jobs, we often had to face discrimination in our search for employment. Employers often rejected us solely because of our disabilities. Today, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our opportunities for employment have increased several folds.

The ADA Title I protect qualified individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination. The protection includes in areas of job application procedures, hiring and discharge of employees, employee compensation, advancement, job training, and any other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. A person must not only be an individual with a disability, but must be qualified.

A qualified individual with a disability would be an individual with a disability who meets the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of a position held or desired, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential function of a job. The individual would also need to meet the definition of disability under the ADA. The inclusion of the term "qualified" emphasize the employer's right to choose and maintain qualified workers.

An employer is not required to hire or retain an individual who is not qualified to perform a job. The employer is free to select a qualified applicant, and is under no obligation to prefer applicants with disabilities over other applicants. If two applicants are equally qualified, an employer is not permitted to select the non-disabled applicant due to the other applicant's disability, even if the disability means the employer would have to provide some kind of accommodation.

The determination of whether an individual with a disability is qualified must be based on the individual's current qualifications and abilities at the time of employment decision. It may not be based on speculation that the employee may be unable in the future or may cause increased health insurance premiums or worker's compensation costs. As often was the case, the qualified individual's disability cannot be considered as a liability for the employer.

What all this means is that the ADA is telling employers to look at our qualifications only. In another way, the employer must disable his/her personal bias or attitudes towards individuals with disabilities at all times.

The above is just one aspect of ADA Title I. There are more details in Title I that may also need to be taken into consideration. For more information, either give us a call at (206) 568-1234 (TTY), (206) 322-4996 (V) or call the Northwest Disability Business Technical Assistance Center at 1-800-949-4232 (V/TTY).

 

CSCDHH Upcoming Events

 

Special Message from the CSCDHH Board President

It is with great sadness that I have to announce that the Executive Director, Rob Roth, will soon be vacating his position at CSCDHH. Rob has recently accepted a job as Executive Director with Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA) in San Francisco, California.

Rob has been at the helm of CSCDHH for over three years - longer than any other previous Executive Director. He was instrumental in rebuilding CSCDHH to the strong and financially stable agency it is today. DCARA will certainly benefit from Rob's skills, dedication and experience as a Director and I wish him the best of luck on this exciting opportunity. Congratulations Rob! Many thanks!

Over the next several months, the CSCDHH Board of Trustees will work to ensure that this period of transition will be as smooth as possible for all CSCDHH staff and community members alike. Most likely, we will establish a Committee of current Board members and members of the community to begin the search for a new Executive Director. We will certainly keep the community informed as things progress.

In conclusion, I want to reassure everyone that this period of change will not affect CSCDHH and program services to the community. CSCDHH is financially strong and I am confident that the agency will continue to grow and carry out its mission into the next millennium.

If anyone has questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at (206) 439-8446 TTY. I can also be reached on e-mail at MikeCSUN@aol.com. Letters can also be addressed to me at the CSCDHH address.

Positive Deaf Parenting Program and the Children's Program

Since the fall of 1995 the Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services has been offering the Positive Deaf Parenting Program to the Deaf community of Seattle and King County. Unlike our other services, participation in our parent program is not limited to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault but is open to the Deaf community at large. Our parenting class is fully accessible to families who use sign language; one of the facilitators is a Deaf mother of two hearing children. The facilitators of this program, Vicki Moseley and Linda Goldman, have been trained in using a curriculum called Strengthening Multi-Ethnic Families and Communities: A Violence Prevention Parenting Program.

The goal of the program is to provide parents with children ages 4 to 18 the opportunity to learn, discuss, and practice positive discipline techniques and to discuss ways to enhance the parents' relationship with their children. The entire curriculum emphasizes the importance of family ethnic, cultural roots and traditions. Aside from the educational component of this program, it is an excellent opportunity for parents to get support from one another and share experiences.

In the fall of 1997 the parenting program was expanded to include a structured Children's Program which runs concurrently with the parenting class. While working with the parents in a class, it became apparent that modeling appropriate discipline techniques with the children would be beneficial as a way to reinforce what parents were learning. In addition to the benefits of role modeling, the Children's Program gives us a chance to work with the children on developing positive social skills and increasing their self-esteem. This program is open to children of all ages who are hearing or Deaf whose parents are attending the parenting classes, and is facilitated by a former instructor of the Positive Deaf Parenting Program.

In addition to the Positive Deaf Parenting Classes we are excited to offer this fall a new curriculum: Parenting Thru Play, which focuses on teaching parents with children age birth to three years.

Please use us as a resource in your work with Deaf parents. (Families where only one parent is Deaf and the other is hearing are welcome.) If you have any questions, or for more information about when our next class will be starting, please call (206) 726-0093 TTY. For Relay calls: 1-800-833-6384.

 

GA Newsletter Masthead

 

Letter from the Director August 1998

United Way United Way has renewed its confidence in CSCDHH by expanding our yearly allocation 26% to $70,272, an increase of approximately $14,000 new dollars. A very special thank you goes to United Way. We look forward to working with them to provide better service to deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing persons in King County.

Congratulations A special congratulatory wave goes to Judy Kaddoura, who has taken the reins of the Interpreter Referral Service, as its new Manager. Please join me in welcoming Judy in her new position.

Thank You We thank Ebony Hammon, who is leaving the Board of Trustees for the time she has given to CSCDHH and the community.

NAD Conference Gail Ploman and I visited San Antonio for the National Association of the Deaf Conference. To give you an idea of what an ASL community could be like, the hotel had 1,000 rooms, of which over 900 were filled by deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing persons. WOW! Over 2,500 deaf persons attended meetings in air-conditioned rooms. The temperature was 100+ degrees every day. WHEW!

Gail and I did a presentation on 9-1-1 services and information to the Deaf community, which was well received. Establishing TTY training standards and certification for 9-1-1 operators nationwide became a top 20 priority for NAD for the next two years; our Washington state 9-1-1/TTY Education Program will be the model on which the NAD program will be based. To give you an idea of how important the 9-1-1 issue has become, two years ago in Portland we had about 15 persons attend our workshop; this year there were about 35 persons.

In another presentation, I was part of a steering committee that is researching the possibility of establishing a new national organization that would be a center for non-profit agencies serving the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing. This organization would provide training from a Deaf point of view, as well as networking, consultation and collaborative opportunities to these agencies' board and staff.

It was clear at NAD that Seattle has gained a national reputation for our creative solutions for serving the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing. We have the innovative Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS), as well as the progressive Deaf-Blind Service Center (DBSC). CSCDHH has the 9-1-1/TTY Education Program, and collaborative efforts with Seattle Mental Health (After school Deaf Youth Program), and DBSC and Washington Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (Systems Advocate). As a community, we should be proud of our organizations!

Community Announcements

Looking for an SSP Coordinator: For some time, Jean Healy has been volunteering as our SSP (Support Service Provider) Coordinator. She has been a wonderful asset to CSCDHH and will be a great loss to us now that she is leaving. Many thanks for your big help, Jean. We are now opening our doors to anyone who wishes to volunteer to be our SSP Coordinator for Deaf-Blind people attending CSCDHH events such as Silent Games. The SSP coordinator will need to be organized and responsible for selecting SSPs with an understanding and some experience in the Deaf-Blind community. The position requires that you have a message system so others can contact you. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Lou Massaro or Mary Bauer at CSCDHH (206) 322-4996 (V) or (206) 568-1234 (TTY).

Attention qualified interpreter/guides: Come and join us at our annual Retreat for Deaf-Blind adults at the Seabeck Conference Center, August 30 - September 5. The retreat is a week long event in a beautiful location balanced with activities, relaxation, communication and support for Deaf-Blind campers and qualified volunteer interpreter/ guides. There is no cost for qualified volunteers. All participants need to fill out an application form. To receive an application form or information on volunteer qualifications, contact The Deaf-Blind Retreat c/o The Lighthouse for the Blind, PO Box 14119, Seattle, WA 98114 or call (206) 324-1388 (TTY), (206) 322-4200 (V) or (206) 329-3397 (FAX), or e-mail at Lhestekind@SeattleLH.com

The Interpreter Referral Service at CSCDHH is looking for a full-time Interpreter Referral Specialist to work as a part of a dynamic team providing interpreter placement in the greater Seattle area. The position requires knowledge of both office and interpreting skills. For more information, please contact Judy Kaddoura at (206) 322-5551 (V/TTY).

What's Happening


Know Your Rights Excerpted from the July-August 1998 COSD Newsletter

Q: Whose responsibility it is to arrange for an interpreter for my doctor's appointment?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is the service provider 's, or the doctor's responsibility to provide accommodations. That means you need to inform the doctor's office at the time you make an appointment that you are requesting a sign language interpreter. The doctor is required by law to consider your request, but in the end , the doctor has the final say about what is reasonable accommodation, whether a sign language interpreter should be arranged, or if writing notes will be sufficient We strongly encourage physicians to hire a certified sign language interpreter in order to facilitate clear and accurate communication on both the patients and doctors part, but we cannot force them to do so. If you go to a doctor and you have requested a sign language interpreter and none has been provided, and you find the communication was not adequate, you can file a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission. Also, the doctor cannot pass payment for the interpreter on to the patient. That is considered a cost of doing business for the doctor.

(Remember) It is important to request an interpreter at the time you make the appointment, and call the doctor a week a head of the appointment and if possible double-check to see if an interpreter was arranged. For clients covered under Medicaid, the rules are different than they used to be. The Medical Assistance Administration (MAA) - the DSHS office which pays for interpreters for medical coupon clients, says that all interpreters must either work for only one agency (for Medicaid interpreting only), or be an independent interpreter. This means they cannot interpret both freelance and for one or more agencies like they used to. The MAA also will not pay travel time of mileage for interpreters. We have found that makes it very difficult to find interpreters for Medicaid eligible clients under these circumstances. At this point, CWSCDHH is not contracted with MAA to provide interpreters. It is the doctor's responsibility to provide the interpreter, and MAA has made a list of interpreting agencies and independent interpreters who are contracted with them available to doctors.

Under Client Rights, page of the Interpreter Services booklet provided by the MAA it says, "The decision to use an interpreter is made by the client and the medical provider together. Once the medical provider and client agree that an interpreter is needed, it is the responsibility of the medical provider to arrange for interpreter services."


Law and the Deaf

I bought an automobile insurance policy. I got a card from the insurance company saying my coverage was 20/40/15. Huh? Am I really covered?

An automobile insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. You contract with the insurance company such that when you pay a premium (the price you pay to get the insurance), the insurance company will cover your automobile accident or accidents within a specific time period and up to a maximum policy loss limit. The most common automobile insurance policy loss limits are $25,000/$50,000/$15,000 or 25/50/15.

The first number, 25, is the maximum limit the insurance company will pay for all personal losses of one person involved in one automobile accident. The insurance company will pay that one person's bills up to $25,000 from the accident, but you are personally responsible for all losses over $25,000. For example, if a person's losses is $30,000 from an accident, the insurance company will pay the first $25,000 and you are responsible for the remaining $5,000.

The second number, 50, is the maximum limit the insurance company will pay the total amount of all personal losses involved in one automobile accident. For example, if three people were injured and the total bill is $60,000. Your insurance company will pay only $50,000 divided among the three people and no more than $25,000 to any one person. You are personally responsible for the remaining $10,000.

The third number, 15, is the maximum limit the insurance company will pay for the total amount of all property damage. This usually means the light pole or fence or house or the other vehicle that you struck. You are personally responsible for any amount over the $15,000.

Potential medical bills and medical rehabilitation costs are expensive and often exceed policy limits. Car repair bills and property damage repair costs are high. The common policy limit 25/50/15 may not cover all losses. Most insurance companies recommend that you carry coverage with higher limits to protect yourself. If you have a bad driving record, you may not be able to get insurance coverage greater than the 25/50/15 limits from any insurance company.

Read your automobile insurance policy. It lists specific exclusions, or things the insurance company will not cover. People with a learner's permit are covered only if a licensed driver is in the front seat. Automobile policies do not cover motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and water craft. Automobile policies do not cover if you RENT your car to someone. You are not covered in the event of war or riot or thermonuclear explosion.

Your automobile insurance policy may cover your losses if you have an accident anywhere in the United States, subject to the state law in where the automobile accident happened. Your automobile insurance policy will NOT cover you in Mexico. Any automobile accident in Mexico is a criminal offense. It is likely you will be taken from the scene of the accident directly to the police department. The police department will figure out and estimate the amount of damages. If you are judged at fault in the accident, your car is seized by the police and you will be kept in jail. To get out of jail, you must pay CASH for the damages or have Mexican automobile insurance.

I will discuss PIP, UM, UIM, collision, comprehensive and other strange things about automobile insurance in the next issue of GA.

Michael J. Izak is a Deaf lawyer. Please send all questions to P.O. Box 59921, Renton, WA 98058, or leave a message on (253) 638-1433 TTY. © 1998 Michael J. Izak, Esq.

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