Executive Director, Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Sherri Collins is the Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH), a position she has held since May 1998, where she acts as the Commission’s chief executive officer by advocating, strengthening and implementing state policies affecting deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and their relationship to the public, industry, health care and educational opportunities. She also recommends strategic goals and policies to the board, develops and monitors the annual operating plan, administers day-to-day operations, develops programs to ensure constituents are informed, acts as the spokesperson within the community and legislature. In 2000 she passed her first bill for major changes in the ACDHH statue, therein changing the name from Arizona Council for the Hearing Impaired to ACDHH, in addition to passing interpreter licensure requirement and statewide facility expansion with a new $6 million annual budget. However, due to the 2008 market crash, ACDHH and other state agencies were facing huge budget cuts. Sherri had to manage many programs and travel reductions. With about half the annual budget she had in 2000, she steered the agency to utilize technology to provide outreach and accessibility to 1.2 million constituents statewide, today ACDHH has one of the most technologically advanced meeting facilities in the state.
Prior to moving to Arizona, she was an administrator for five years at the North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She was also the Assistant Director of the Gallaudet University Regional Center at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. Collins has a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development from Gallaudet University, Washington, DC and a Master’s in Adult Education/Organizational Development from North Carolina State University.
She presently serves as President on the board of the National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and is the Secretary on the board at the Arizona Center for Disability Law. In the past, she has served on the board at Phoenix College, Chair of the Interpreter Preparation Program Advisory board, President and Secretary for the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind board, Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council, Secretary on the National Association for the Deaf board, the Region IV Board Representative on the National Association for the Deaf board and a past member of the FCC’s IP Telecommunication Relay Service Advisory board.
Aside from serving on several boards and committees, Collins is certified in practicing Level 2 Reiki, she loves learning about different energies in crystals and stones. She is a raw food chef and when possible, teaches how to live a vegan lifestyle to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing throughout the state. When given the chance, she and her husband, Randy, love to travel (internationally). Otherwise, she enjoys slow and easy weekends shopping the local farmers markets, jewelry making, reading, hiking, walking her dogs and making healthy meals in the kitchen.