Thanks to a lot of hard work Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week (DBAW) got some great attention around the country. The following are just a few of the activities:
OKLAHOMA: Governor Mary Fallin issued a proclamation recognizing DBAW 2018 and the accomplishments of deaf-blind Oklahomans. This proclamation came shortly after House Bill 1244, also known as the “Jeri Cooper Act,” was passed. The bill increases deaf-blind Oklahomans' access to Support Service Providers by providing grants for the program through the Department of Rehabilitation Services. The Bill was named in honor of Jeri Cooper, a rehabilitation teacher with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services who is deaf-blind herself. Jeri was a major advocate for creating a SSP program in Oklahoma. Accompanying Jeri at the signing were HKNC regional representative, Molly Sinanan and former HKNC student, Don G.
NEBRASKA: A proclamation issued by the Governor of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts, was read at a ceremony which included Carlos Servan, executive director of the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Mike Foley, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Nebraska. Others of note in the audience were Brent M., a Summer Youth Vocational Program at HKNC student this past summer
NORTH CAROLINA: Governor Roy Cooper issued a DBAW proclamation which was read at many events across the state by Ashley Benton, LCSW, Deaf/Deaf-Blind Services Coordinator with the North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
KENTUCKY: Families and long range service plan partners gathered to celebrate the signing of a DBAW proclamation issued by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.
TENNESSEE: During the Southeast Transition Institute in Knoxville, Tennessee, a proclamation from Governor Bill Haslem was read and presented to the community by Lisa Rimmell, Tennessee’s new state deaf-blind coordinator through VR. Since Lisa came on board, there has been a lot of hard work spreading awareness, providing workshops and collaborating on various events. One of the mentors for the Institute was former HKNC student, Ashley J..
PUERTO RICO: Two staff members from the Deaf-Blind Project in Puerto Rico joined other partners in celebrating the DBAW proclamation. Over the past year, HKNC has worked with Linda McDowell and Mike Fagbemi from the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) in building relationships and meeting with families.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Big smiles with families and Deaf-Blind Project members showing their proclamation from Governor Henry McMaster. The mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, Stephen Benjamin, also issued a proclamation.