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August 2010. First informal group established in 1973 out of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. by new group of hired Deaf employees Second informal.

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Presentation on theme: "August 2010. First informal group established in 1973 out of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. by new group of hired Deaf employees Second informal."— Presentation transcript:

1 August 2010

2 First informal group established in 1973 out of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. by new group of hired Deaf employees Second informal group established in 1989 and became the grassroots of current group

3 In December of 2004, Jim Bishop formally organized current organization of IRS Deaf Employees at IRS with assistance of Deaf Executive Committee Members In 2007 a decision was made to include Hard of Hearing employees and the group formally became the IRS Deaf/HH Employees Organization


5 2007 Commissioner’s Task Force Established to review all possible reasonable accommodations and computer assistive technology devices. Members included Vicki Lowen, Vice President of IRS Deaf Organization Recommendations of the committee to the Commissioner of IRS was for videophones

6 Commissioner’s Task Force on Reasonable Accommodations Pictured with Linda Stiff – Commissioner of IRS in 2007/2008 is Vicki Lowen who served on the Task Force making recommendations of computer assistive technology including videophones

7 Recommendations of the Task Force to the Commissioner of IRS was for purchase of videophones for IRS Deaf employees.

8 Second Commissioner’s Task Force established in 2008 with NTEU to purchase videophones and test them on 20 IRS Deaf employees throughout the country Recommendations of second Task Force is that videophones be given to all Deaf employees at IRS who request the use of one.

9 Federal Relay Service is established in 2007 as a result of a Congressional Act in 2006 Allows for on-line telephone conferences Allows for use with videophones Allows for computer to be used a TTY Allows for voice interpreters 2007 – NTS Software was made available to all Deaf employees and co-workers who requested through reasonable accommodations 2007 Captioned Telephones were offered to Hard of Hearing – free in many states


11 Commissioner Linda Stiff stated she would listen to IRS Deaf/HH Employees for solutions to workplace accommodations First IRS Mentoring Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Established with 28 participants in 18 states connect IRS Deaf/HH Employees with Hearing employees using computer assistive technology that included Videoconferencing – first of IRS to use more than 4 PODs as educational tool in ASL by Mike Harrell First education of IRS Deaf employees in ASL “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” taught by Vicki Lowen Shared Folders files on IRS Intranet

12 Mary Engley- RA LMSB Mike Harrell – MITS Charlene Kennedy – MITS

13 As President of IRS Deaf/HH Employee Organization, Jim Bishop meets regularly with the Commissioner of IRS to advocate for Deaf issues Pictured with Linda Stiff – Commissioner of IRS in 2007

14 Deaf Newsletter started by Stephen Kovscek Website for Deaf/HH Employees established Organization of Deaf/HH Employees expanded from 100 members within the D.C. area to nationwide membership of currently 300 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Employees at IRS Deaf/HH Employees who Volunteered to organized conference demonstrated what IRS Deaf/HH employees could do if given the opportunity

15 Speakers at First Deaf Conference included IRS Deaf/HH Employees who demonstrated creative and innovative ideas as well as professional public speaking skills to Hearing audience

16 Mary Jean Hooke in Conference Discussion would go on to be a presenter at 2008 conference Volunteer at Conference pictured with IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff would go on to be a video presenter for IRS Internet and U-tube videos in 2009 and 2010

17 Joy Evans – current recording secretary Tina Valentine – Secretary of IRS Deaf/HH Org asks questions during conference

18 Karen Breuer – in 2007 became presenter at 2008 conference - pictured with her manager & Commissioner Linda Stiff Volunteer Reba Ober receiving award recognition for hard work on conference in 2008



21 Continuation of IRS Deaf/HH Employee’s Mentoring Program an expanded to include 50 Deaf/HH employees and Hearing employees Task force on videophones continues In April of 2008 First ASL video produced by Toby Silver in Communications uploaded to U-tube; IRS website; IRS intranet; and National Association for Deaf on instructions for applying for stimulus package

22 Historic progress in communication with IRS at the first government agency to use ASL to communicate with Deaf Public using internet and computer technology

23 Rose Abbott and Mary Jean Hooke and Jesse Morris give Presentation on Deaf Awareness and Etiquette at 2008 Conference

24 Non-profit status for IRS Deaf/HH Employee Organization granted by IRS VITA sites included on IRS Deaf website with links to other organizations NOTE: We need members to volunteer to assist in creating and maintaining professional website that is accessible for all members as well as Deaf public


26 Charlene Kennedy – Coordinator for Austin Texas Conference in 2009 and 2010 Conference in Salt Lake City as well as Coordinator for 2008/2009 Mentor Program

27 IRS Deaf/HH Employees expanded the conference to allow for VIEW (Visually Impaired Employees in the Workplace) to be included in the conference In 2009 IRS Deaf/HH Organization Website expanded to include tax law video in ASL produced by Toby Silver in Communications linked to U-tube; IRS Intranet and Internet as well as National Organizations for Deaf. Videophones made more common in workplace.

28 Toby Received Award at 2009 Conference for producing a series of videos uploaded to U-Tube from Internet website on tax laws in ASL. Historical method of a government agency communicating with the Deaf Public in ASL!


30 Initiatives: Have more members employed within EEO offices Have more Deaf/HH members on Diversity Councils Have more Deaf/HH members stewards with NTEU Have more Deaf/HH members provide educational presentations to EEO Directors and specialists on how to use assistive technology to advance awareness between Hearing and Deaf so that it will be easier to obtain reasonable accommodations for a variety of workplace training, meetings, etc.

31 Members will provide education on Deaf/HH issues and methods of communication Individual managers and group level To mid-level and senior level executives EEO staff Increase exposure and awareness to Senior Executive and Management of IRS/DEAF Leadership talents and advocate for the promotion of IRS Deaf/HH Employees


33 Comprehensive education to include: Learning about Hearing professional culture and etiquettes Learning about Deaf professional culture and etiquettes Learning about Hard of Hearing professional culture and etiquettes Learning about Blind professional culture and etiquettes Learning about other minorities

34 Deaf Awareness Month either October (Disability Awareness) and/or April for Deaf/HH Awareness month Articles of interest on IRS intranet Published articles outside of IRS Videos Presentations in PODs Expanded Deaf/HH website Newsletter on IRS Deaf/HH frequent with greater audience

35 Schedule A USA jobs Tell friends and/family about jobs and how to apply Produce videos in ASL for Deaf/HH Organization website on how to apply for jobs at IRS using Schedule A on USA jobs

36 ASL Interpreting service contracts Desktop videophone system CapTel service Audio loop system and FM systems for individual use CART service Video Relay Service Note taking service Federal Relay Conference Captioning Closed Captioning for Video open and closed captioning; IVT and CENTRA American Sign Language Training service TTY service TTY was introduced and deployed in IRS around 1973 for internal use. TTY became an official only means of communicating with deaf taxpaying clients in 1980. TTY is being obsolete already. Desktop videophones and VRS are being explored. Review quality and cost saving analysis in all RA devices and services

37 Currently 300 members Expand to include more IRS Hard of Hearing Employees Develop Local Chapters Austin Chapter (2008) Cincinnati Chapter (pending) Dallas Chapter (Pending) DC Metro Chapter (2009) Denver Chapter (Pending) Detroit Chapter (pending) Kearneysville Chapter (pending) Memphis Chapter (pending) Milwaukee Chapter (PendingNew York Chapter (pending) Ogden Chapter (2009) Philadelphia Chapter (pending) Professional Deaf/HH Accountants at IRS

38 Work with TEC and SPEC to produce training on tax preparation in ASL taught by IRS Deaf/HH employees to be put on a DVD Upload Tax Law training to Deaf Organization website Use trained IRS Deaf/HH Employees as tax preparers for Deaf public Need IRS volunteers to work with Deaf communities; various colleges; and IRS TEC and SPEC

39 goal is developing leaders and officers fund raisers – volunteers needed obtaining grants – volunteers needed to write grant and manage funding

40 Need volunteers to serve as Officers and Committee Members both a National level and local chapter level Will need governance and by-laws established Pamphlets and brochures on organization Chapters information to be located on website Work on re-writing IRM to be current on Deaf issues; ADA laws; technology; interpreter issues; videophone issues; relay service issues; and expanded awareness of Deaf employees performing in workplace

41 Currently in need of Treasurer Currently the organization is a 501-c, tax exempt organization Needs recordkeeping done with annual financial reports to be done Needs to have tax returns prepared annually

42 Publicity Committee Website Pamphlets Newsletters News articles for IRS intranet Videos done in ASL

43 Concerning the Deaf employees Concerning the HOH employees Concerning the Deaf/Blind employees

44 Tax law in ASL (currently partially complete) Accessibility Mentoring program – self study Applying for jobs at IRS Links to other Deaf related websites such as,

45 Continue at local chapter level Needs national coordinators – must have this to continue the program Recruit mentors Recruit protégés Have more self-study

46 Speaking contest Writing contest Reading contest Math contest Computer technology contest ASL Video production contest

47 Deaf and Hard of Hearing In Government Federal Employees Organizations National Association for Deaf VIEW Disability Awareness Program (Pa) Hearing Loss Association of America AIM (Association for the Improvement of Minorities)

48 2006 – Washington DC (postponed) 2007 – Lanham, MD 2008 – Martinsburg, WV 2009 – Austin TX 2010 – Salt Lake City, UT 2011 – Cincinnati, OH 2012 – Atlanta, GA 2013 – and beyond – open

49 Have a wonderful Conference for 2010 in Salt Lake City and see you next year in Cincinnati, Ohio!!!!

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