Members of Fairfax County's Task Force [WORD ILLEGIBLE] the Handicapped heard suggestions Monday night on meeting the needs of the [WORD ILLEGIBLE] handicapped from 26 handicapped [WORD ILLEGIBLE], their parents and a number of professionals who work, train or educate people with disabilities.
Among the recommendations were: extended day care for handicapped children; [WORD ILLEGIBLE] information and counseling center for the deaf, visual or flashing fire alarms and smoke detectors in public buildings; sign language translators for social service offices and emergency rooms; teletypewriter phones; improved vocational training; elimination of physical barriers in public buildings; better transportation for the handicapped, and improved housing arrangements.
The suggestions, plus any additional written testimony submitted during the next month, will be considered by the 11-member task force as it formulates a plan for coordinating county services and meeting the needs of the handicapped to comply with federal regulations. The task force was appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
This week's hearing was held in the Kings Park Library on Rolling Road and Burke Lake Road outside of Springfield. The library is the only one in the county with a teletypewriter telephone. Two sign language interpreters translated the testimony for the audience of about 80 persons, many of whom were deaf.
From his wheel chair, Michael Ward urged the task force members to involve the handicapped in the planning of programs and to be concerned with training, education and better transportation.
A one-stop counseling service, particularly for parents of handicapped children, was suggested by John M. Simmonds. George James asked that the county hire an employment and personnel officer to deal with the handicapped and moderately retarded.
Representing the Council for the Deaf, Fred Yates suggested a center for the deaf and a sign language interpreter for public service offices. James Scott from the vocational rehabilitation section of the Council of the Deaf suggested visual fire alarms and teletypewriters in medical facilities as well as on the police and fire station phones now being used. He also suggested additional mental health services for the deaf.
Nate Drown of the Virginia Registry of Interpreters for Deaf suggested that a provision for sign interpreters be put in the county budget. He also suggested teaching signing in schools to all children.
Elaine Shaffer suggested listing the teletypewriter numbers in county phone books and phamplets. Gary Vyall complained that the county literature on smoke detectors gave no information on whcih had lights and which didn't. Connie Runyon said there is a great need for a visual alarm system in public buildings.
According to task force chairman Thomas Connors of Falls Church, the proposal will be presented to the Board of Supervisors Jan. 23 of next year.