This is especially for my friends and supporters of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in Florida. I will attempt to make a long story as short as possible. As many of you know, I have worked a LOT over the last ten years as a self-advocate for people with disabilities and in many cases for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The big issue is the amount of resources provided to the State and the Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. organization for equipment for telephone communication assistance. The Public Service Commission of Florida (PSC) now wants to cut the surcharge collected and essentially cut the budget of FTRI and its ability to provide telephone equipment for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in the State of Florida.
I have petitioned (see attachment) this to the PSC. This petition has been added to the agenda of the PSC meeting on Thursday, September 7, 2017 (this week). IF you live in Florida, support the D/HH community, and the content of the letter attached for expanded services of FTRI, simply reply "aye" or "yes" to this email- me at firstname.lastname@example.org (please forward to all your friends/family in the D/HH community to do the same). I have not been given a lot of time, but would at least like to get a show of support through email and social media. Again, say ‘Yes’ or ‘Aye’ in your reply to me ONLY if you support services for telecommunications for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in FL.
Information is not regularly shared with the D/HH community and often changes occur without the people of Florida’s knowledge because A. people must live their lives and don’t always have the time or money to spend overseeing how services are handled by our State government and B. because the Public Service Commission does not appropriately advertise to the D/HH community specifically what they are doing. For more details, please read my letter to the PSC (attached). The letter is not perfect, but I think the points are clear. I was not made aware of this until shortly before the decision was to be made. Now we must act fast.Thanks, C
Florida resident and Disability - D/HH self-advocate
Click to view Chris Littlewood's letter to the PSC