1. Provide system advocacy training to first responders such as law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, and county social services
- Prioritizing hospitals, we will increase our outreach to local community services to provide system advocacy on behalf of the community we serve.
- Due to high turnover in Child Protective Services (CPS) departments, we will offer ongoing Deaf-sensitivity training.
- Provide education on interpreter accessibility, requesting interpreters, and pros/cons of using VRI.
Measurable objective: Improved access, including provision of interpreters, and services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals.
Timeline: Ongoing due to turnover in staff/personnel.
Accountability: Michelle Bronson tends to do the trainings for the agency and Wayne Johnson as part of his Deaf Access systems advocacy grant funded by Harden Foundation. Other staff can do trainings as needed.
2. Boost awareness of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center through improved PR efforts
- Emphasize to all current and future staff, Board members, and advisory council members that each of us is a “walking, talking (signing) PR machine.”
- Investigate new possible strategies to raise our visibility in the community.
- Work to increase the number of community partnerships through media and social media.
- Develop additional page content for the DHHSC Board to maintain professionalism and increased visibility. This will provide Board specific email addresses, professional headshots of board members, agendas, minutes, and any other matters pertaining to the Board.
Measurable objective: New clients, donors, volunteers, vendors, etc. for DHHSC.
Timeline: Ongoing as our CDSS contract depends on number of new or unduplicated clients.
Accountability: Staff, Board members, and advisory council members are all responsible for PR efforts. Board members maintain their web page.
3. Provide more activity-oriented events and broad support for Deaf and Hard of Hearing special interest groups. *Special Interest Groups: DeafBlind, Deaf Senior Citizens, LGBTQ+, Deaf People of Color, CODA/KODA, DHH youths and their families, Deaf Plus, and more.
- At the request of our Deaf special interest groups we will work with local leaders to plan trips that support their goals of enlarging and enriching their life experiences.
- Special interest group leaders will educate the agency on how to provide best support, services, and events that are tailored towards their groups.
- The goal is to improve awareness of each group and set an open dialogue between groups to foster development of the Deaf Community.
- We will increase the frequency of workshops targeted to the life issues of our Deaf citizens in this community.
Measurable objective: Increased participation in workshops and events, as counted as grant and CDSS stats,
Timeline: Ongoing as new issues arise and we learn how best to appropriately and ethically respond to Special Interest groups’ needs.
Accountability: Staff and Board
4. Provide services for young children of Deaf adults (KODAs)
- At the request of parents, we will plan and facilitate more events specifically for KODAs and continue to provide various avenues of support for KODAs.
- Engage in active outreach with KODAs and their families to understand services and needs of this group.
Measurable objective: Development of new services to meet service/request needs of KODAs and their families and increased participation. We currently have five families from Fresno County participating in our PRAISEKODA-time grant funded by First 5 Fresno, but we would like to see more utilize DHHSC’s services; families in other counties in our service region also participate, but we would like to see higher participation in general.
Timeline: New services to be provided starting by 2023, but to encourage more participation in our current PRAISEKODA-time grant until it ends in 2022.
Accountability: Grant-funded staff and managers
5. Engage in active mentoring and education for higher education institutions in providing appropriate services.
- Continue to provide support to and mentoring for students who are passionate in their future in serving the Deaf Community sector.
- Establish virtual or in-person volunteer opportunities.
- Host workshops on educating administration on appropriate labeling, cultural awareness, equity, interpreting services, and more for Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members (professionals, students, service providers, and more.
Measurable objective: Increase in number of volunteers and volunteer hours, time/services dedicated to mentoring students (also counted by stats for CDSS), and development of workshops to meet students’ goals and to benefit of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
Timeline: Ongoing as DHHSC regularly works with Deaf Education/Deaf Studies/Interpreting students from local colleges and universities
Accountability: Staff and Board
6. Improve network infrastructure and upgrade virtual services for the 21st Century.
- Upgrade technology at all offices.
- Ensure proper training for all staff in providing virtual services.
- ASL workshops on technology and education for the community.
Measurable objective: Staff and managers becoming more experienced using Zoom and other virtual platforms to provide services, workshops, and events; more community members learning how to access Zoom and other virtual platforms to receive DHHSC services and participate in DHHSC’s activities, workshops, and events; and continued fundraising and grant efforts to replace aging computers/laptops and cover any needed tech repairs/services.
Timeline: Already in progress but need more community members to become experienced with Zoom and other virtual platforms by June 2021. Some new laptops have already been replaced for staff, and we will purchase used laptops to loan to community members, using funds from a recent #GivingTuesday campaign.
Accountability: Staff with Board’s support with fundraising for this purpose
7. Improve various fundraising venues with a planned focus on specific programs with higher need of service and agency stability.
- More involvement by the community, staff, and the board of directors in fundraising efforts.
- Develop a concentrated area of fundraising that can be maintained year-round such as selling specific products, or providing monthly events with a purpose of increasing funding to programs of interest/need.
Measurable objective: Increased revenues for DHHSC
Timeline: Ongoing as fundraising is year-round
Accountability: Staff and board