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Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on Announces Selection of Interim Executive Director

Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Selects Charlotte “Dee” Spinkston as Interim Executive Director

The Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (RICDHH) selected Charlotte “Dee” Spinkston as its interim Executive Director. Ms. Spinkston began her role at RICDHH on August 1, 2022.

Charlotte “Dee” Spinkston is a former special educator of students with deaf-blindness, clinical vocational counselor developing community-based work options for transition-aged youth and de-institutionalized adults with deafness and deaf/blindness, a former state DeafBlind consultant for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ms. Spinkston has led, managed, consulted and facilitated advocacy, education, and outreach initiatives to improve access and active engagement of marginalized families of children with disabilities, transition-aged youth with disabilities.

Ms. Spinkston has worked at the national, regional, state and local level on policies and practices related to diversity and disability inclusion, accessibility, special education, and family engagement. She provided facilitation and technical assistance to emerging parent leaders of color to design and implement culturally responsive family supports in urban and rural communities in 25 states and three territories. The success of this effort led to ongoing discretionary funding by the Office of Special Education Programs, USDOE for parent-lead initiatives, designed, led and administered by parent leaders of color to develop family support, training and information programs that made sense for their communities. She is also a DEI consultant and an ASL interpreter, currently living in the City of Boston.

The search for an interim executive director began after the previous RICDHH Executive Director, Earnest Covington III, announced his acceptance of a new role as an Executive Director for the State of Washington Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. His last day was June 30, 2022. RICDHH announced the open application for the interim executive director position on June 13, 2022. RICDHH wishes to thank all applicants for their time and commitment to the search for an interim executive director.

On July 20, 2022, RICDHH approved a contract with Innivee Strategies, Inc. to support the search for the next RICDHH Executive Director. Please watch for future updates for more information about the search process, search committee, and timeline. RICDHH is actively seeking new Board of Commissioners. If you are a Rhode Island resident interested in serving on the RICDHH board, email [email protected] to express your interest to apply.

About the Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (RICDHH) is an advocating, coordinating, and service providing entity committed to promoting an environment in which deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Rhode Island are afforded equal opportunity in all aspects of their lives.

The RICDHH develops policy; initiates and lobbies for favorable legislation; fosters cooperation and awareness among state agencies and community organizations; and educates and advises consumers, state agencies, and employers about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rights to equal access.

The RICDHH also provides direct services in its operation of a Sign Language Interpreter/CART Referral Service, a lending library of books and videotapes, and as a clearinghouse of information and referral on all topics related to hearing loss.

About Innivee Strategies, Inc.

Innivee Strategies, Inc. is an organizational and leadership development company. We believe that communities are only as strong as the organizations that serve them. We consult with organizations and leaders to create and achieve goals, manage change, obtain and utilize data, cultivate community buy-in, and nurture and retain inspiring and transformative leaders. Please visit www.innivee.com to learn about our clients and their testimonies about how our services have benefited their organizations.