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Deaf Professional Advisory Council (DPAC)

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Guiding Document

DPAC Guiding Document


The Deaf Professional Advisory Council (DPAC) provides advisory services to the URMC VP and SMD Senior Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion on opportunities to incorporate a deaf-centered perspective and enhance the experience for Deaf professionals and learners at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). The Council does not have decision-making ability but will provide valuable perspectives from the deaf community in decisions and considerations made by the URMC VP and SMD Senior Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion.


The Deaf Professional Advisory Council (DPAC) reports to the URMC VP and Senior Associate Dean for the School of Medicine and Dentistry for Equity and Inclusion. Ultimate decision-making responsibility will remain with the URMC VP & SMD Senior Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion and current structures to ensure that recommendations are aligned with key considerations, such as Senior Leadership priorities, Compliance, HR policies, and budgetary regard. The SMD OEI will also provide the advisory council with logistical administrative support.


The Deaf Professional Advisory Council (DPAC) is comprised of nine (9) members who are all deaf. All members should exemplify the diversity of URMC’s deaf professional and learner population. Members will have unique knowledge, skills, and abilities which will help enrich the institution. Committee participation for URMC employees should be incorporated into employee’s regular work schedule. Potential members interested in serving on the council should connect with their supervisor to arrange appropriate coverage or flexibility in schedules if they would like to participate on the council.

Section 1. Membership Structure

Council Representative Stakeholders (number of membership reps as defined necessary by stakeholder group representational needs)

  1. Deaf Professional Representative (5)
    1. Staff Representative (3)
    2. Faculty Representative (1)
    3. Hard of Hearing Representative (1)
  2. Deaf Learner Representative (3)
    1. Graduate School Learners (2)
    2. Med School Learners (1)
  3. Deaf Interpreter Representative (1)

Generally, DPAC meetings will be run with only DPAC members present. The addition of other individuals will be communicated in advance to DPAC members. The addition of any access service personnel to facilitate communication (such as interpreters, captioners, and others) will be someone who does not work at URMC.

Section 2. Terms

Member representation will be established on a two-year term, with the exception of a replacement term due to the vacancy of a seat. Council representative terms will be staggered to ensure general continuity of the Council.

The initial seat terms are listed below for the purposes of establishing the Council, all one-year seats will become two-year terms at the conclusion of the first Calendar Year. DPAC members are eligible to return for another term immediately following their current term.

The 5-member group representing the "Deaf Professionals" will have two Staff representatives that begin with initial one-year terms. The other two Staff representatives and the Faculty representative will begin with initial two-year terms.

The 3-member group representing the "Deaf Learners" will have one Graduate School representative that begin with an initial one-year term. The other Graduate School representative and the Medical School representative will begin with initial two-year terms.

The one-member group representing the "Deaf Interpreters" will have one Deaf Interpreter representative that begins with an initial two-year term. 

Advisory Council Liaison Structure

The Council members will designate a member to serve as a liaison to lead meeting agendas and interface with the URMC VP of Equity and Inclusion and SMD Senior Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion.  


The Council shall establish a calendar of regular business meetings at the first meeting of the calendar year with a minimum of one meeting per month. All council representatives are expected to attend the majority of council meetings. Anyone missing a meeting is expected to read the minutes prior to the next scheduled meeting in order to remain informed of council activity. Information shared during DPAC meetings is considered confidential unless agreed upon by DPAC members and the URMC VP of Equity and Inclusion and SMD Senior Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion. 


The Council shall provide the URMC VP of Equity and Inclusion and SMD Senior Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion with invaluable guidance toward medical center operations and the experience of deaf professionals and learners. Initially, this will include setting priorities as recommended in the Executive Summary report (2021) presented by Brick Advantage Consulting.

DPAC Selection Process

For the establishment of the DPAC, an ad-hoc selection committee will be formed with five members (listed below). The selection committee will meet in early January 2022 with Dr. Adrienne Morgan and Norma Holland to select the initial group of DPAC members.

Selection Committee Membership (5)

  1. Dr. Adrienne Morgan, URMC VP of Equity and Inclusion, SMD Senior Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion
  2. Norma Holland, Director of Public Relations and Community Engagement, URSMD
  3. Deaf Professional and/or Learner (3) 

Selection Committee Representative

Any deaf staff, faculty, or learner can indicate interest in serving on the selection committee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

​Complete the online application. Individuals who participate on the selection committee may not apply for membership on the DPAC.
Participants can submit their responses in written format directly into the application or upload a video file based on their preference.
  • Dec. 20, 2021 - Deadline to submit materials for consideration
  • Jan. 3, 2022 - Selection committee members will be notified during this week
  • Jan. 14, 2022 - Selection committee meeting
  • Jan. 16, 2022 - Deaf Professional Advisory Council Members will be notified during this week
  • Jan. 28, 2022 - Kick off meeting for Deaf Professional Advisory Council
Any approved recommendations will be implemented through working groups or alternative mechanisms as appropriate.