Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he is creating the Emergency Communications Taskforce, which will be responsible for reviewing how state government communicates with residents, with special attention to those who are non-English speakers, have disabilities, or have certain functional needs. While the group will look at all communications, the immediate focus will be on communications during emergency situations, which will be followed by a more detailed look at overall communications due at the beginning of next year.
"Approximately 21% of Connecticut citizens speak a language other than English at home, and approximately 22% of Connecticut citizens report having a disability," Governor Malloy wrote in a letter to Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Commissioner Dora B. Schriro, who will head the taskforce. "There is a need to establish a more comprehensive framework to overcome these communication barriers, particularly in emergency situations."
The taskforce will be responsible for evaluating the cost, benefit, efficiency, effectiveness and measurable performance of the existing communications methods used by the state, and for developing best practices.
It will consist of 18 members, including:
Commissioner of DESPP, who will serve as chair
Commissioner of the Department of Aging
Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection
Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services
Commissioner of the Department of Education
Commissioner of the Department of Public Health
Commissioner of the Department of Rehabilitation Services
Governor's Liaison to the Disability Community
Executive Director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
Member of the Governor's staff
Representative from the higher education community
Representative of 2-1-1
Representative of the Connecticut Red Cross
Representative of an organization that provides services to and/or advocates for immigrants and refugees
Member appointed by the African American Affairs Commission
Member appointed by the Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission
Member appointed by the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission
Member of the media
The Governor has asked Commissioner Schriro to convene the taskforce no later than April 1. A report of findings and recommendations regarding emergency situations should be submitted to him by October 1, and an additional report regarding non-emergency constituent communications is requested by January 1, 2015.