MakingYour Case Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing MinnesotansWith MCDHH Executive Director Mary Hartnett and Trudy Suggs of T.S. Writing Services
2Purpose of Presentation Build on the great success of Massachusetts- ASL Laws, Interpreter Laws, Telecommunications, Preventing Budget Cuts, Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights Learn about the Minnesota Experience and apply lessons learned from case studies Learn the skills and strategies needed to increase influence in public policy
3What is Public Policy?o Public policy is the set of decisions that we make at every level of government about how money is spent and the rules we live by.
Congratulations on Your 4Recent SuccessNot only have did you prevent budget cuts, but this year you are asking for money to be restored!
Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind andHard of Hearing Minnesotans(MCDHH) Is a governor-appointed commission advocating for and with people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing Successful advocacy happens: By people themselves Through alliances With clear and driven goals
6How we operate Policy and advocacy goals set by diverse stakeholders in the community who drive the process. Develop a strategic plan every 5 years: survey, interview key stakeholders and hold focus groups. Priorities set, plan developed. Legislative proposals presented and reviewed yearly.
7Examples of Legislation EHDI Mandate Funds for transition program for transition aged youth. Deaf Mentors for Families Minnesota Employment Center for Parent Guides for Familes Deaf and Hard of Hearing Hearing aid loaner bank Technology Standards Mandated Coordinator in Dept of Captioning for Greater MN Education for children birth to 3 Candidates who receive public Mandate for data collection on financing must caption their ads outcomes for d/hh/db kids and and improvement plan
Example Minnesota educationalinterpreter certification law:Background 1994: Educational interpreting law Seven years for implementation From 4 to over 300 interpreters School districts and some interpreters resisted. 2007: A Deaf person requests removal of language
Minnesota educational interpretercertification law: Strategies Strategies: Establish clear goals Meet with each legislator and bill author Check with all stakeholders Meet with union representative Result: SUCCESS!
Testifying: What worked? Understand the rules Approaching legislators Be persistent Be visible during hearings Know who you’re talking to Learn about legislators and their backgrounds
Lessons learned:Educational interpreting law Always have an eye—or 20—on existing and new legislation. Ensure all parties involved have accurate information. Have solid alliances and networks in place. Know who to contact. Be prepared.
Making Your Case course Produced by MNCDHH Created by ZenMation T.S. Writing Services Digiterp Communications Signed by Deaf narrators Is based on curriculum for other disability groups Contains seven modules Information Activities Case studies
Let’s get started! Module 1: Getting Started Module 2: Changing the System Module 3: Building Your Case Module 4: Making Your Case in Writing Module 5: Making Your Case In Person Module 6: Keeping It Going Module 7: Conclusion
Ten-step advocacy process• Identify your issue. • Get to the right person.• Develop your story.• Define your • Choose your request. tactics.• Get the facts. • Create a detailed plan.• Find allies. • Take action. • Keep it going.
Course objectives Understand how public Write effective letters and policy is made and who e-mails makes it Conduct meetings with Understand the advocacy policymakers process and apply it to your situation Give effective testimony and answer questions Tell your story in writing Work with others to tackle and in person community issues Know how to identify the policymakers who can help bring about the changes you need
How to tell your story:Which is better? Option 1: My son needs more special education services. OR Option 2: My creative, inquisitive son Mickey is deaf. He’s a math whiz but he can’t explore ways to use this because there is a math club at his school but the school won’t provide an interpreter for this after-school activity.
What’s your story? A good story: Introduces you and your family. Focuses on one thing. Explains your situation. Has enough details to make it interesting. Includes only information that relates to the situation or your goal. Reminds the policymaker that you are a constituent. Captures your emotion and passion for an issue. Asks for a specific action to correct the situation.
Face-to-face meetings 99% of Congressional staffers believe personal meetings influence decisions.1 Ask for support. Explain your case. Personalize an issue by sharing your story. Educate the policymaker. Invite the legislator to be involved. Respond to and/or evaluate the policymaker’s stance. 1 Source: Communicating with Congress: How Capitol Hill is Coping with the Surge in Citizen Advocacy http://www.cmfweb.org
Providing testimony Be prepared. Request a specific action. Meet with interpreters Have a written version beforehand. available. Keep it short. Do not read straight from your paper. Follow protocol. State your position upfront, Don’t repeat other people’s comments if possible. then restate it. Personalize the issue. Watch meetings and hearings in advance to get Use facts. an idea.
Accessible E-government 20services Videos produced by the state not As e-government services captioned. increased, employment for people with disabilities in state Live-streamed legislative hearings government decreased over a 10- were not captioned. year period, from 10% to 4% Documents and software for Met with IT and employees with citizens and state employees disabilities. were not accessible to blind and DB. Governor didn’t support the change. The state online job application site was not accessible.
21Results Making Your Case Health Care Rights Video Funds for live captioning online for legislature Capitol Accessibility Series http://www.mncdhh.org/capitol- Funds for state CIO access/#access-ASLVideo Funds to teach how to make Video Captioning Essentials products accessible Accessible Word Webinar Received funds for ASL video production- a WCAG 2.0 Accessible Website Webinar requirement
Keep it going Keep the Ways to organize the momentum going community: Register to vote Coalitions Media Participate in Internet community Rallies organizing Petitions Communications Stay updated Public hearings Political involvement
23Recent examples Medicaid coverage for outpatient mental health services for deaf youth We notify of email: http://www.mncdhh.org Vlog http: Twitter Facebook
Reminders for workingwith policymakers Be prepared. Be patient with the process. Avoid being negative and focus on the Know who your solution. opponents are. Focus on the issues, not Be generous. personalities. Continue to Your reputation is communicate. important. Make sure you are Be polite even if you registered to vote. disagree.
25EHDI Deaf Mentors EHDI Mandate EDHI Committee must have deaf members EHDI Coordinator Department of Ed Hearing Aid Loaner Bank Parent to Parent Guides
Group activity: Signing busdrivers Group A: Argue in favor of requiring bus drivers to be fluent in ASL and/or having a supervisor on the bus Group B: Argue against this requirement Be sure to: Discuss strategies Identify allies and opponents
27Training Legislative staff Every two years we train legislative staff on how to make the capitol accessible to people who are deaf Training on Deaf Culture, how best to communicate with people who are hard of hearing and deafblind They love it!
28Civic Engagement Each election year we apply for and receive funds for voter out reach from the Secretary of State Voter Registration Drives Deaf, Hard of Hearing Day at the Twins/Voter Registration Collaborate with nonprofits to provide captions/interpreters for candidate debates DeafBlind Vote Ride You Decide video on the Secretary of State’s site
Thank Legislators 29and Staff Awards Thank you notes Often It makes a big difference Invite them to your events and recognize them there