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December 21, 2002

Hamerdinger named director of deaf services office

From: Birmingham News, AL - 21 Dec 2002

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The former chief of deaf services for the state of Missouri has been named to the same position in a newly created office in Alabama.

Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Commissioner Kathy Sawyer named Stephen Hamerdinger as director of the Office of Deaf Services, according to a news release Friday.

The office will work to improve accessibility and effectiveness of services for clients of the agency who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Besides serving as director of deaf services for Missouri, Hamerdinger held board positions in three states and has worked as a consultant. He is also a lecturer and author.

Also Friday, Sawyer named Joe Meadours director of the newly formed Office of Consumer Empowerment.

Sawyer said the office would provide resources to clients who are mentally retarded or have developmental disabilities to help them get involved in making policy.

Meadours, a native of Selma who has a cognitive disability, has been an advocate for people with disabilities, serving as a coordinator at Access Living in Chicago.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved.