Deaf-Blind Service Center Programs
We obtain the services of qualified interpreters for large meetings or when the communication needs of the deaf-blind person cannot be met within DBSC's in-house resources.
We conduct all advocacy and case planning with the fullest possible participation of the deaf-blind individual. DBSC believes that information leads to educated choices and aims to provide opportunities for the deaf-blind community to become more fully informed and involved in the choices that affect their lives and their community.
Our Advocacy Specialists partner with professional and other agencies to ensure that deaf-blind individuals have a voice in events that impact their lives, are able to successfully navigate social/government/healthcare systems, as well as, learn how to advocate for themselves.
Service Support Providers
Support Service Providers (SSPs) are trained, sighted guides, and providers of visual and environmental information who support DB people as they go about their banking, shopping, and essential errands independently. The SSP provides this visual and environmental information so that the DB person can make informed choices and decisions, as well as, participate in the wider (mainstream) community.
A Communication Facilitator (CF) is a skilled signer who provides access for deaf-blind people to Video Relay Services, as well as, to other signers. A CF copies sign language from the screen of a videophone and relays it to the deaf-blind person using tactile sign language (a signing process that is understood via touch, not vision). With the advent of devices such as the iPad, these services can occur here at DBSC, out in the community, or at the DB’s home.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Presently, our Support Service Provider (SSP) Program is going strong and is in high demand. We currently have 80 deaf-blind individuals regularly receiving SSP services on a monthly basis. This program greatly enhances their lives and their independence. As more people move to the Seattle area and as our current population ages, the need for more service hours will only increase.
The challenge: Our ability to expand this program and offer more service hours and serve more people is directly dependent on the partnerships and financial support of our community.