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History of the RI CDHH

History of the RI CDHH

  • 1977: Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired (CDHI) was Created (without any funding)
  • 1983: Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) Bill was Passed (Now the Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan Program)
  • 1987: CDHI Provided Budget of $1,000 to pay for interpreters at CDHI meetings
  • 1987: CDHI “office” established at the Governor's Commission on the Disabilities' office (3 rd drawer down in the main file cabinet)
  • 1990: Pilot Program for Interpreter Referral Service
  • 1991: Task Force to Develop New Commission
  • 1992: General Assembly Passed a Bill to Restructure the old CDHI and Created the new CDHH
  • 1992: Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CDHH) Holds its First Meeting
  • 1993: CDHH's Statewide Interpreter Referral Service was Established
  • 1999: CDHH Hired its First Executive Director
  • 1999: CDHH's Eighth Legislative Mandate was Added "Coordinating Council to implement strategic plan for Deaf and hard of hearing children"
  • 2001: Total of CDHH Commissioners was Increased to 13
  • 2002: CDHH Hired its First Deaf Executive Director
  • 2003: Interpreter Referral Service moved in-house
  • 2005: Total of CDHH Commissioners was decreased to 11 due to the Separation of Power Government Change. [Two legislators (House of Rep and Senator) no longer be able to serve on any commissions under the Executive Branch.]
  • 2005: CDHH launched the Emergency Interpreter Referral Service
  • 2006: CDHH’s Ninth Legislative Mandate was added (Track the yearly services provided by exempted interpreters)
  • 2013: Emergency and Public Communication Access Program (EPCAP) has been added to CDHH
  • 2016: CDHH's 4th FTE has been added for Staff Interpreter



Chairpersons

  • Tim Riker 2015 - present
  • Heather Neidbala 2015
  • Jordan Sack 2012 - 2014
  • Christine Thompson 2011 - 2012
  • Travis Zellner 2004 - 2011
  • Wayne Cook, Jr. 2002 – 2004
  • Jan Luby (Acting) 2001 – 2002
  • Beth Wilson 2000 – 2001
  • Dinaz Adenwalla 1993 – 2000
  • Bruce Bucci 1991 – 1993
  • Jeanne Panarace (Acting) 1991
  • Aristotle Ogoke 1990 – 1991
  • Ray Filippo (Acting) 1990
  • Beth Wilson 1984 – 1990
  • Jodi Glass 1984 – 1985
  • Helen Novsam 1982 – 1984
  • Peter Blackwell (Temporary) 1981