Deaf Services strategic planning sessions shape plans for future


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A series of ADRS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services strategic planning sessions has provided leadership with useful feedback for determining the direction of the program.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Coordinator Bedarius Bell said the meetings take place throughout the state every three years to allow leaders to receive input as they prepare their plans to move the program forward.

“What we really want to do is give our stakeholders, partners, consumers, and staff an opportunity to give us their thoughts on what is working well, what needs to be improved, and then sit down and try to figure out how we can put that into a plan we can work toward for the next three years,” he said. “Obviously, the more people we can get out to have that conversation gives us better feedback. We always tell people, ‘Just give us your ideas because we can try to put them into action.’ ”

Stops in Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville have provided Deaf Services leadership with volumes of valuable feedback. The most-recent meeting, held in Talladega, attracted the largest crowd thus far, with more than 100 stakeholders attending.

Additional sessions are being scheduled in November for Dothan, Tuscaloosa, and Muscle Shoals.

Input from past strategic planning processes has resulted in the creation of positions like deaf support specialist and audiologist. Bell said they will again use the data to see where help is needed.

ADRS Training Specialist Nancy Adams said all deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind consumers have been invited. The theme for the meetings has been Strength, Opportunity, Analysis, and Results (SOAR).

“We have gotten really, really, really good feedback from the consumers and our partners, like the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and others,” Adams said. “We take down every comment – whether good or bad.”

Comments are categorized as a strength, opportunity, or aspiration. The information will then be used to classify what is going well and where improvement is needed as the strategic plan takes shape.

The plan, when written, will cover 2019 through 2021. It is expected to be published by January.






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