Salem, Oregon – Bridges Oregon is pleased to share our latest achievements in collaboration with the Oregon Legislature and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to improve the quality of life for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Oregonians. Through partnerships with the Oregon Association of the Deaf (OAD), the Oregon Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ORID), and other community partners. Bridges Oregon has actively supported various initiatives aimed at enhancing accessibility and support. We extend our gratitude to everyone involved in this collaborative process.
Bridges Oregon has actively advocated for key legislative bills that address the needs of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community. We are delighted to announce the passage of the following bills:
- House Bill (HB) 2669: Bill of Rights for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Children in K-12 Schools.
- Senate Bill (SB) 685: Modification of the definition of “Communication Facilitator.”
- House Bill (HB) 2696: American Sign Language (ASL) Licensure Bill overseen by the Health Licensing Office in collaboration with the Oregon Health Authority.
- Senate Bill (SB) 569: Mandatory closed-captioning on television receivers in public areas of places open to the public, with exceptions.
- House Bill (HB) 2994: Modification of health insurance coverage requirements for hearing-related items and services.
Unfortunately, House Bill (HB) 2664-A, which aimed to establish a Bill of Rights for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Children receiving Child Welfare Services with the Oregon Department of Human Services, did not pass.
For detailed information on each bill, please visit our resource page at https://bridgesoregon.org/resources/.
Bridges Oregon has collaborated with the Oregon Council Healthcare Interpreter to update the rules pertaining to Oregon Healthcare Interpreter certification. As part of this effort, ASL interpreters are asked to submit a copy of their sign language proficiency certificate with an advanced rating. On June 20, 2023, the Oregon Health Authority held a rulemaking public hearing to clarify the Oregon Administrative Rules 333-002-0040. The next step involves the rulemaking team consulting with the OHA Rules Coordinator to determine the appropriate course of action based on the feedback received during the public hearing.
On Friday, June 23rd, Bridges Oregon finalized a lease agreement for a new office space, marking our first dedicated location. Situated just three blocks from the Oregon Legislature, this office will enable us to collaborate closely with our Oregon House Representatives and Senators during upcoming legislative sessions.
Moving forward, Bridges Oregon aims to reintroduce the Bill of Rights for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Children receiving Child Welfare Services with the Oregon Department of Human Services. Additionally, we have identified several areas of focus for future engagement with the Oregon legislature, including:
- Intervenors for DeafBlind children in K-12 schools.
- Language, Equity, Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K).
- Appointment of a Deaf/Hard of Hearing Adult in Custody (AIC) Coordinator to support the 212 Deaf/Hard of Hearing AICs in the Oregon prison system.
- Adoption of a data tracking solution by all state agencies to monitor Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing individuals.
- Language proficiency requirements for employees working with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Deaf children and adults in 24-hour residential programs, host homes, foster homes, and group
- And we welcome suggestions, please write to email@example.com
About Bridges Oregon:
Bridges Oregon is a nonprofit for Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers. It is in our mission to facilitate equity and inclusiveness and to provide a bridge to opportunities through advocacy, education, and communication.