Commission Meeting

                             Saturday, March 26, 2011

                       Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

                                   Des Moines, Iowa

                                10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


The DSCI Commission Meeting was called to order by Chairperson Theresa Legg at

10:05 a.m., Saturday, March 26, 2011, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA.


Members present: Theresa Legg, Gus Cordero, Tammy Westhoff-Gentry and Robert Vizzini


Members absent:  Dr. James Snyder


Staff members present:  Suzy Mannella, Stephanie Lyons, Linda Scott and Cyndi Chen, DHR Resource Coordinator


Ex-Officio Member Present:  Isaiah McGee, Director, Department of Human Rights


Interpreters:  Peggy Chicoine, Renee Johnson and Joe Trelstad


Commissioners, staff and interpreters were introduced, visitors recognized and ground rules for the meeting presented.


Approval of the Agenda:

Commission approved the agenda as presented without a motion. 


Approval of Minutes from November 19, 2010:

Motion #11-08:  Vizzini made the motion to amend the minutes of the November 19, 2010 meeting to remove reference to the possible closing of Kirkwood Community College’s ITP program.  There being no further changes to the minutes, minutes stand approved as amended.  Vizzini/Cordero  All in favor, motion carried.


Vizzini would also like to see the names and/or number of visitors at the meetings shown in the minutes.  After discussion, this information had never been shown in the minutes in the past, but the sign in sheet has been attached to the approved minutes and will stay the same for future meetings.


Vizzini would also like to see the Commissioner/Committee reports in the minutes.  Commissioner reports will no longer be given at the commission meetings, but Committee reports will be presented.  Reports by a Committee member will be so noted in the minutes with any reports presented attached to the approved minutes for the file.


Staff Reports:


·         has been working on developing Vlogs for the DSCI website with her latest, with captioning, is on the Iowa Court System and educating the deaf and hard of hearing throughout the community on where to find ADA coordinators. 

·         she has been working on coordination of volunteers for the upcoming JCP Camp.  Lyons is still in need of one more cook.  Cordero has volunteered to spend the week at Camp to help in the kitchen.



-          Baumann-Reese and Mannella met with DMACC regarding their ITP program.  She shared four points with the commission about the DMACC program:

1)      the current curriculum at DMACC is a 2-year program and it’s not been successful.  Students are not prepared when they leave the program to go out into the working world as an interpreter;

2)      DMACC has done research and 2-year programs are starting to dissolve throughout the U.S. and changing to 4 year programs.  The students’ credits are not accommodating what is happening nationally right now so DMACC will be suspending the program to restructure and reorganize to meet national accreditation and students will have to meet a variety of credits along with their degree;

3)      in 2012, it will be mandated that interpreters will have to have a 4 year degree before they get their license;

4)      DMACC doesn’t offer just ASL classes as a foreign language.  Their ASL classes are structured for the ITP program.  Baumann-Reese and Mannella encouraged DMACC to set up ASL classes separate from the ITP program and offer them as a foreign language so that students could enroll in the class as a foreign language option.

-          Mannella asked DMACC if they would be willing to come to a commission meeting  so that the commissioners and community could ask questions about the closing of the program.  Mannella will be following up with them on that request.

-          plans are in process for the JCP Camp in July 2011.  A lot of recruiting is being done for volunteers to help with the camp and as an informational piece, one of the new commissioners, Nate Garrels, will be a senior counselor at the Camp this summer.


The program and workshops will be different this year from in the past.  There will be workshop topics on leadership, strengths and weaknesses, identifying cultural differences – deaf, Hard of Hearing, CODA, etc.  In the evening there will be some technology training where attendees will learn about assistive devices available to them and how they’re used. 


The Camp will have a deaf professionals night and we will be bringing in deaf professionals to sit on a panel and work with the students along with holding a Camp Bowl.  The final day the campers will put on a dramatization of what they’ve learned throughout the week for commissioners and parents of the students.


-          commission will hold their July meeting at the Camp on the 22nd of July from 1:00-

4:00 p.m. so that the campers can attend.


Vizzini asked staff to talk about Deaf Education Day at the Capitol and Lyons explained that the name had been changed from Deaf Day at the Capitol.  Mannella added that there was good turnout, a number of booths, a number of legislators were present and there was good interaction with the students and adults in attendance.



Public Comment:

Miksell:  Commented about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children’s Educational Bill of Rights and the direction it was headed in being passed.  Right now it appears that Sections 1 and 2 of the bill will be deleted and the 3rd section will be kept; however, the 3rd section is very weak without the other two.  Commissioners were encouraged to go out on the Internet to review the bill HF445/SF445.  Mannella will send the bill out to the commissioners for their information.


Introduction of the Director of the Department of Human Rights:

Legg introduced the new director of the department who gave an overview of his background to the commission.



Legg recognized the service of two commissioners who have left or will be leaving the commission effective 4/30/11.  Dr. James Grover and Tammy Westhoff-Gentry.  Certificates were given to each.  Since Dr.Grover was not present, his will be mailed to him.


Old Business:

Committee Reports:

Mental Health – No report provided.

Legal – Westhoff-Gentry - Nothing to report at this time.  Has contacted the Bar Assocation about interpreters for clients and will follow up with that after her appointment expires.

Interpreters Competency Standards – Vizzini – Nothing to report.

Youth – Cordero – Has not had a chance to meet with Mannella, but will be working with her on the JCP Program.

Services for Hard of Hearing – No report provided.


Vice Chair Officer Election

Motion #11-09:  Motion was made to postpone the voting on the Vice Chair position until the May meeting when a full commission will be present..  Vizzini/Cordero  All in favor, motion carried.


New Business:

May and August Commission Meeting Dates:

Mannella announced that the May meeting will be held on Friday, May 6, 2011 here in Des Moines from 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.  Location will be announced when May packets are sent out.


The August meeting will be moved forward to accommodate JCP Camp and will be held on Friday, July 22, 2011 at Dolliver State Park, Lehigh, Iowa


Everyone in attendance was in agreement with the dates scheduled.


Motion #11-10:  Motion that a special meeting be scheduled with one staff member from Deaf Services and two commissioners to work together to prepare a statement to submit to DMACC asking that they continue their ITP and ASL programs.  Vizzini/Westhoff-Gentry.  All in favor, motion carried after discussion.


Discussion:  Vizzini would like to have this statement prepared to encourage DMACC to retain their program because the communities do not have enough interpreters and the college needs to continue the ITP program.  The statement would be prepared, forwarded by e-mail to all commissioners for approval and sent on to DMACC.  Those working on the statement will be Legg, Vizzini and Lyons.



Ø  Mannella announced that the office has received a $1,500 donation for Camp and will give the commissioners an update of donations at the May meeting.

Ø  there will be a Commissioner training on Friday, May 27, 2011 in the Des Moines area.   All commissioners are encouraged to attend.

Ø  Lyons has been appointed to a four-year term on the Board of Sign Language Interpreters and Transliterators.

Ø  next IAD meeting will be held in Council Bluffs on April 16

Ø  the 53rd Annual IAD potluck/picnic will be held in Marshalltown on June 25

Ø  AG Bell Conference, Iowa City, April 16

Ø  DIAA hosting 5K walk/run, April 30 at Kirkwood Community College

Ø  April 1, ‘Take Back the Night’ event at Kirkwood Community College

Ø  May 7, the ASL film “Gerald” will be shown at the Kirkwood Auditorium


There being no further business, meeting adjourned at 12:38 p.m.





___________________________________    __________________________________

Theresa Legg, Chair                                          Linda A. Scott, Secretary