Chair: Yvonne M. Dunkle, Director, Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Appointed by Governor: Gordon Pickering; two vacancies.

Appointed by Senate President: Sharon M. Grosfeld

Appointed by House Speaker: Richard A. Sossi

Representing Maryland Disability Law Center: Benjamin J. Dubin

Representing Making Choices for Independent Living: Andrea Buonincontro

Representing Maryland Association of the Deaf: Alicia B. Epstein

Representing Maryland Coalition for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing: Lise Hamlin

Representing Governor's Office of Homeland Security: Brad Levinson

Representing Maryland Legislative Action Committee for the Community Associations Institute: R. Bruce Campbell

Representing National Association of the Deaf: Donald Sievers

Representing Maryland Chapter, National Association of Retired Persons: Joseph DeMattos

Representing Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Campus: Hazel Rinas

Representing Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick Campus: Dirk R. Albrecht

Representing Maryland Multi-Housing Association: James Caffey

Representing Maryland Realtors Association: Ronald F. Miscavich

Ex officio: JoAnne E. Knapp, designee of Secretary of Disabilities; W. Faron Taylor, designee of State Fire Marshal.

Staff: Denise Gagnon Perdue

c/o Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
217 East Redwood St., 13th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 767-6290 (voice); 1-800-201-7165 (Maryland Relay)*
e-mail: odhh@gov.state.md.us
fax: (410) 333-1016; tty: (410) 767-7756

*Hearing callers use Maryland Relay 1-800-201-7165 or 7-1-1.

The Task Force to Study Visual Smoke and Evacuation Alarms for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing organized in 2005 (Chapter 331, Acts of 2005). The Task Force studied emergency evacuation plans for persons in Maryland who are deaf or hard of hearing and who live in apartments or condominiums. It also considered what emerging technologies are available to improve the security and safety of such Marylanders and at what cost. In addition, the Task Force examined emergency evacuation plans of other states for deaf and hard of hearing people living in apartments or condominiums. The cost of installing in apartments and condominiums alarm systems specifically designed to alert persons who are deaf or hard of hearing was considered by the Task Force, and what public and private funding sources are available to provide emergency evacuation plans, devices, and equipment for them was explored.

The Task Force reported to the Governor & General Assembly on September 30, 2006. Authorization for the Task Force extended through September 30, 2006.

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