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§5-14-5. Powers and duties of the commission; information clearinghouse; coordination of interpreters; outreach programs; seminars and training sessions.

(a) The commission shall maintain a clearinghouse of information, the purpose of which is to aid hearing-impaired persons and others in obtaining appropriate services or information about such services, including, but not limited to, education, communication (including interpreters), group home facilities, independent living skills, recreational facilities, employment, vocational training, health and mental health services, substance abuse and other services necessary to assure their ability to function in society. The commission shall consult existing public and private agencies and organizations in compiling and maintaining the clearinghouse.

(b) The commission shall establish, maintain and coordinate a statewide service to provide courts, state and local legislative bodies and others with a list of qualified and certified interpreters for the deaf and a list of qualified and certified teachers of American sign language.

(c) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall promulgate rules pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the state quality assurance evaluation, including the establishment of required qualifications and ethical standards for interpreters, the approval of interpreters, the monitoring and investigation of interpreters and the suspension and revocation of approvals. The commission may conduct interpreter evaluations and collect and expend funds with regard thereto.

(d) The commission shall develop an outreach program to familiarize the public with the rights and needs of hearing-impaired people and of available services.

(e) The commission shall investigate the condition of the hearing-impaired in this state with particular attention to those who are aged, homeless, needy, victims of rubella and victims of abuse or neglect. It shall determine the means the state possesses for establishing group homes for its hearing-impaired citizens and the need for additional facilities. The commission shall also determine the advisability and necessity of providing services to the multihandicapped hearing-impaired.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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