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256C.28 COMMISSION SERVING DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING PEOPLE.
    Subdivision 1. Membership. The Minnesota Commission Serving Deaf and Hard-of-hearing
People consists of seven members appointed at large and one member from each advisory
committee established under section 256C.24, subdivision 3. At least 50 percent of the members
must be deaf or deaf-blind or hard of hearing. Members shall include persons who are deaf,
deaf-blind, and hard of hearing, parents of children who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing,
and representatives of county and regional human services, including representatives of private
service providers. Commission members are appointed by the governor for a three-year term and
shall serve no more than two consecutive terms. The commission shall select one member as chair.
    Subd. 2. Removal; vacancies. The compensation, removal of members, and filling of
vacancies on the commission are as provided in section 15.0575.
    Subd. 3. Mission. The commission shall serve as the principal agency of the state to advocate
on behalf of deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing Minnesotans by working to ensure those
persons have equal access to the services, programs, and opportunities available to others.
    Subd. 3a. Duties. The commission shall:
(1) assist deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons and parents of deaf, deaf-blind, and
hard-of-hearing students in advocating for equal access to services, programs, and opportunities;
(2) advise the governor, the legislature, and the commissioners of the Departments of Human
Services, Education, Employment and Economic Development, and Health on the development
of policies, programs, and services affecting deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons, and on
the use of appropriate federal and state money;
(3) create a public awareness of the special needs and potential of deaf, deaf-blind, and
hard-of-hearing persons;
(4) provide the governor, the legislature, and the commissioners of the Departments of
Human Services, Education, Employment and Economic Development, and Health with a
review of ongoing services, programs, and proposed legislation affecting deaf, deaf-blind, and
hard-of-hearing persons;
(5) advise the governor, the legislature, and the commissioners of the Departments of Human
Services, Education, Employment and Economic Development, and Health on statutes, rules, and
policies necessary to ensure that deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons have equal access
to benefits and services provided to individuals in Minnesota;
(6) recommend to the governor, the legislature, and the commissioners of the Departments of
Human Services, Education, Employment and Economic Development, and Health legislation
designed to improve the economic and social conditions of deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing
persons in Minnesota;
(7) propose solutions to problems of deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons in the
areas of education, employment, human rights, human services, health, housing, and other related
programs;
(8) recommend to the governor and the legislature any needed revisions in the state's
affirmative action program and any other steps necessary to eliminate the underemployment or
unemployment of deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons in the state's work force;
(9) work with other state and federal agencies and organizations to promote economic
development for deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing Minnesotans; and
(10) coordinate its efforts with other state and local agencies serving deaf, deaf-blind, and
hard-of-hearing persons.
    Subd. 4. Staff. The commission may appoint, subject to the approval of the governor, an
executive director who must be experienced in administrative activities and familiar with the
problems and needs of deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing persons. The commission may
delegate to the executive director any powers and duties under this section that do not require
commission approval. The executive director serves in the unclassified service and may be
removed at any time by a majority vote of the commission. The executive director shall coordinate
the provision of necessary support services to the commission with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
Services Division. The executive director may employ and direct staff necessary to carry out
commission mandates, policies, activities, and objectives.
    Subd. 5. Powers. The commission may contract in its own name. Contracts must be
approved by a majority of the members of the commission and executed by the chair and the
executive director. The commission may apply for, receive, and expend in its own name grants
and gifts of money consistent with the powers and duties specified in this section.
    Subd. 6. Report. The commission may prepare and distribute periodic reports to the
state agency commissioners, the governor, and the legislature concerning the activities of the
commission and the needs and concerns of deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing Minnesotans.
History: 1Sp1985 c 14 art 9 s 27; 1987 c 302 s 5,6; 1988 c 629 s 56; 1989 c 282 art 2 s
122-125; 1992 c 513 art 9 s 30,31; 1993 c 306 s 16; 1994 c 483 s 1; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13;
1996 c 392 s 6; 2003 c 130 s 12; 2004 c 206 s 52