The commission shall be primarily a coordinating and advocating body, acting on behalf
of the special concerns of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons in Rhode Island. Its activities shall be independent of any existing agency or department within
the state. The commission shall be accountable directly to the executive office of the state,
and shall submit an annual report to the governor. The commission will assume the following duties:
(1) Bring about greater cooperation and coordination among agencies and organizations
now servicing or having the potential to serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing;
(2) Promote greater accessibility to services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing;
(3) Conduct an ongoing needs assessment;
(4) Promote increased awareness and provide information and referrals;
(5) Advocate for the enactment of legislation that would assist the needs of individuals
who are deaf and hard-of-hearing;
(6) Administer a sign language interpreter referral service;
(7) Take necessary action to improve the quality of life for deaf and hard-of-hearing
individuals living in Rhode Island;
(8) 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.
(9) Track the yearly services provided by exempted interpreters, as defined in subsection
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