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  • Acts
  • 2008
  • Chapter 526 AN ACT RELATIVE TO AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE AND HARD OF HEARING WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

There is hereby established the William Hoy Council of Deaf Studies and Workforce Development, hereinafter referred to as the council. The council shall be comprised of the following members: the commissioner of the deaf and hard of hearing or a designee, who shall be the chair of the council; the president of the University of Massachusetts or a designee; the commissioner of higher education or a designee; 2 presidents of community colleges appointed by the commissioner of higher education, or their designees; 2 presidents of state colleges appointed by the commissioner of higher education, or their designees; 2 presidents of private colleges or universities appointed by the commissioner of higher education, or their designees; the director of workforce development or a designee; the president of the Commonwealth Corporation or a designee; the chief executive officer of the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf, Inc. or a designee; the president of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. or a designee; and the chief executive officer of DEAF, Inc. or a designee. In addition, the commissioner of the deaf and hard of hearing shall appoint a graduate student in deaf studies, an undergraduate student in deaf studies, a student in American Sign Language interpreting, no fewer than 2 nationally recognized interpreting educators, and no fewer than 2 certified teachers of American Sign Language at the college level.

The council shall: (a) develop guidelines for a grant program for the establishment, enhancement, and expansion of new and existing programs in deaf studies and American Sign Language interpreting in public and private institutions of higher education in the commonwealth; (b) develop guidelines for financial assistance programs for undergraduate and graduate students matriculating in public or private institutions of higher education in commonwealth; and (c) develop guidelines for a marketing and outreach program on deaf studies and American Sign Language interpreting targeted toward elementary and secondary education students.

The council shall file a report with the senate and house ways and means committees, and with the joint committee on higher education within 12 months of the effective date of this act. The report shall include, but need not be limited to, recommendations on: (a) guidelines for a grant program for the establishment, enhancement, and expansion of new and existing programs in deaf studies and American Sign Language interpreting in public and private institutions of higher education in the commonwealth, including any planning and implementation grants necessary for the institutions to develop and undertake such programs; (b) guidelines for financial assistance programs for undergraduate and graduate students matriculating in public or private institutions of higher education in commonwealth who agree to work in fields related to the deaf or hard of hearing including, but not limited to, American Sign Language interpreting upon graduation; and (c) guidelines for a marketing and outreach program on deaf studies and American Sign Language interpreting targeted toward elementary and secondary education students.

Approved January 15, 2009