Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

MDSC Story #2

By 1980, the MDSC had nearly 100 members and
had expanded its mission from simply creating social opportunities
for deaf senior citizens to activism. They were ready to tackle the major issues
affecting the state’s 400,000 deaf and hard of hearing
Minnesotans. The group started by forming the Utilities
Committee to study the issue of improving telecommunications
and services for the deaf community, and developing a plan. The group decided to go directly to the decision-makers who controlled the policies that stood in
the way. MDSC targeted members of the state’s Public
Utilities Commission, as well as senior executives from the companies that controlled the region’s telecommunications
industry. Change didn’t happen quickly. It took three years of hard work, dedication
and a lot of time and energy before the group achieved its goal. In the end, the Public Utilities Commission agreed to make telecommunications services
and equipment more available to the deaf community in Minnesota. These successes eventually led to passage
of the Telecommunications Access for Communication
Impaired Persons (TACIP) legislation that required all telecommunications providers to offer consistent access to telecommunications
services and equipment across the United States. That important change was thanks to the work
of MDSC.

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