Mai Vang, who has filled many roles in Minnesota’s deaf and disabilities communities, has moved to a new role at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). She is now the American Sign Language (ASL) Social Security Advocacy Services coordinator.
With her experience working in deaf organizations, Vang knows the firsthand where accessible services for the deaf community are lacking. She hopes to provide more services that are open to the deaf community, and more reliable resources.
Vang comes to DHS after three years working for ThinkSelf Adult Basic Education and Advocacy, a deaf-led organization. The organization provides independent living skills to deaf adults. Even before that, her experience working with Deaf Mentor Family Services within Lutheran Social Services made her realize she wanted a human services career.
Vang is currently a board member for United Hmong with Disabilities, a newly established national organization that focuses on educating the Hmong community about disabilities. She is also on the Minnesota Registry of Interpreters for the deaf advisory committee that focuses on how to improve ASL interpreting in Minnesota.
She is also in the current cohort of the Partners in Policymaking Class 40. The program is helping her learn how to better advocate for herself and her community, and network with different organizations, agencies and counties.
Vang is a graduate of Metropolitan State University with a bachelor’s degree in human services. Her major was human services family studies.