FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Paul Ladd, (615) 313-4707
Miki Murphy, (615) 259-2060

HEARING IMPAIRED COUNCIL PROPOSES NAME CHANGE

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Council for the Hearing Impaired will change its name to the Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing if a bill is approved by state lawmakers. Leaders of Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities across the state have asked the Council to change its name.

"Tennessee's deaf and hard of hearing communities are requesting this name change," said Miki Murphy, the Council's executive director. "The name should be changed to respect their wishes, and that's why we're happy to support it."

Advocacy groups within the deaf and hard of hearing communities are backing the name change. These include the Tennessee Association of the Deaf, Self Help for the Hard of Hearing, Black Deaf Advocates and Deaf Senior Citizens.

"It's a better description of who we are and who we serve,"said Edward Steele, President of the Tennessee Association of the Deaf. "I'm a deaf person and I don't feel comfortable with the term hearing impaired. I'm not impaired and I don't need to be fixed. I'm just a person who happens to be deaf."

The Tennessee Council for the Hearing Impaired is a state agency under the auspices of the Department of Human Services' Rehabilitation Services Division. Its mission is to create and expand opportunities for Tennesseans who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Council works with six regional community service centers in Tennessee. These include the League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Nashville, Knoxville Area Community Center for the Deaf, Communications Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Johnson City, Family and Children's Services-Services for the Deaf in Chattanooga, Interpreting Services for the Deaf in Memphis, and Jackson Center for Independent Living Deaf Services.