At the Houston Abilities Expo on Saturday, Aug. 6, accessible travel blogger Cory Lee of Georgia will present a workshop, “Traveling Curb Free: How to Explore the World in a Wheelchair.”
Lee is Founder and CEO of curbfreewithcorylee.com . He writes about accessible travel while using a power wheelchair.
According to Lee’s website, “I want to share my accessible (and to my dismay, sometimes not so accessible) adventures with you. My life goal is to visit every continent, even Antarctica.” He hopes his blog will “inspire you to start rolling around the world.”
Lee’s presentation will offer new options for travelers with mobility needs. “Learn how to properly prepare for accessible travel, what destinations and modes of transportation are suitable for your needs, and even how to deal with those unexpected circumstances that often arise while traveling in new places.”
The accessible travel blogger has written an ebook, Air Travel for Wheelchair Users, which, according to his website, is “entirely devoted to alleviating any fears that wheelchair users may have when it comes to flying.”
The Capsule Group and Sign Shares Inc./International held an event in Galveston, Texas on Friday, June 3, to address Deaf community concerns regarding the use of Video Remote Interpreting, or VRI, in health care settings.
According to the report, Galveston resident Janie Morales, who is Deaf, wants a live interpreter.
“When Janie Morales goes to the hospital, she doesn’t want to speak to a computer screen,” according to the report.
One of Morales’ chief complaints was that VRI was on a small screen and it was difficult to see.
Attendees requested more information about how to request live interpreters and shared their experiences with healthcare interpreting in general.
The group also discussed revisions to healthcare law Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which will now hold the higher standard of giving preference to the individual with a disability’s choice of accommodation. While revisions to Section 1557 go into effect in July, complaints are active now, since preference for consumer choice was already in effect under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you’re concerned about not having a choice about the use of Video Remote Interpreting with your healthcare professional, you can call Video Phone: Deaf / Hard-of-Hearing: VP1: 832-431-3854 or VP2: 832-431-4889 to discuss it with Sign Shares advocates.
Many supports are available to people who are DeafBlind. Yesterday, the Sign Shares’ blog discussed DeafBlind Interpreters. There are others who provide support besides interpreting, so that people who have vision and hearing loss can live independently.
If their need regards formal communication, such as medical appointments, education, meetings, etc., they will need a certified professional, a DeafBlind Interpreter, according to the task force.
What happens if the individual’s need involves more than communication, such as transportation?
If the person who is DeafBlind needs transportation and support navigating an environment such as a conference, shopping, hobbies and sports, or informal settings, they may need a Support Service Provider, or SSP.
There are problems with people close to the person who is DeafBlind performing the SSP role, according to the white paper. They often lack formal training, may not provide reliable support, and the person requesting SSP support “may have feelings about infringing on others’ time. Often, this will lead the person who is deaf-blind to change their plans or not get out into the community…”
According to the paper, not getting out into the community “can lead to isolation, depression, low self-worth, and frustration…”
Hiring SSPs may offer greater independence for the individual with need because they are involved in their travel experiences.
According to the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting, SSPs:
provide visual and environmental information,
assist with communication access, and
guide within the physical environment, generally in community-based or informal settings.
In a white paper, the American Association of the Deaf-Blind describes the SSPs main role as:
“Providing access to the community by making transportation available (by car, bus, or other conveyance), and serving as a human guide while walking,” and
Relaying “visual and environmental information that may not be heard or seen by the person who is deaf-blind. This is done in the person’s preferred language and communication mode.”
An important aspect of the relationship between the person who is DeafBlind and an SSP is that the person who is DeafBlind makes all decisions, according to the white paper.
Support Service Providers, according to the task force, might assist in the following locations:
recreation and leisure sites,
during health and fitness pursuits,
at home reading mail,
social gatherings, and
other activities in private settings.
SSPs may work in together with DeafBlind Interpreters at events like conferences, where the interpreter supports workshop communication, and the SSP supports travel and navigating the event, according to the task force.
However, they differ in important ways, because Interpreters:
work with people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and also people deaf-blind;
Interpreter education is available from colleges/universities and can culminate in state/national certification;
Interpreters are paid based upon their certification and/or the rate established by the referring agency/community.
SSPs work only with people who are DeafBlind or have a combination of hearing and vision loss, according to the association.
Their training is less formal than interpreters, may be taught in workshops or through life experiences. Because of the less formal education and certification of SSPs, they may be volunteers, or receive less pay.