Mission & Legislative Mandates
To provide innovative leadership in public policy, advocacy, service delivery and accessibility throughout the Ocean State, RICDHH ensures opportunities for every deaf and hard of hearing person to become an empowered and contributing citizen.
According to the Commission’s enabling statute, Rhode Island General Laws 23-1.8, the agency is charged with the following legislative mandates and duties:
- Bring about greater cooperation and coordination among agencies and organizations now servicing or having the potential to serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
- Promote greater accessibility to services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
- Conduct an ongoing needs assessment.
- Promote increased awareness and provide information and referrals.
- Advocate for the enactment of legislation that would assist the needs of individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.
- Administer a sign language interpreter referral service.
- Take necessary action to improve the quality of life for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals living in Rhode Island.
- Develop a statewide coordinating council that will coordinate the implementation of the comprehensive statewide strategic plan for children in Rhode Island who are deaf or have hearing loss. The composition, functions and activities of the statewide coordinating council shall be consistent with the provisions of the strategic plan developed through the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- Track the yearly services provided by exempted interpreters, as defined in subsection RIGL 5-71-15(4).