The Sign Shares’ blog has posted the past few articles relating to support people for individuals who are DeafBlind, or who have
both vision and hearing loss.
However, how do individuals seek DeafBlind Interpreters, Support Service Providers (SSPs), or Interveners? How do those who are DeafBlind pay for them?
One of the first stops for assistance is vocational rehabilitation. If an individual has a severe enough disability–and having both
vision and hearing loss qualifies–then most individuals can receive some assistance with services and/or equipment and training they need to maintain their independence from their state’s vocational rehabilitation program.
Here is a list of vocational rehabilitation agencies across America. It lists agencies by state.
Vocational rehabilitation may assist individuals who are going to school or work, as well as individuals who aren’t working and need support to live, work, and play independently.
Once an individual is a client of a vocational rehabilitation program, they may assist with the cost of DeafBlind Interpreters and potentially SSPs.
However, federal and state agencies, as well as cities, will provide these services if the individual requests them. They usually need some advanced notice so they have time to make an appointment for the individual to have services. Also, large businesses that serve the public are also required to provide these services as requested.
Schools provide Interveners as needed, and the request for one should be in a student’s education plan. The first step for this is for the student to be enrolled with special education or disability services programs at school or college/university. From there, they can request DeafBlind Interpreters and Interveners to assist with communication and/or learning, as is needed by the student.
While most services can be paid for through vocational rehabilitation, schools, colleges, and universities, as well as sometimes through government agencies and businesses, it
takes extra information to be prepared and learn what is needed for independence.
Joining organizations that have other individuals who have similar needs makes it easier to socialize and learn more about ways to adapt.
There are many organizations to choose from, based on the person’s needs and interests.
Here is a list of nationwide DeafBlind Organizations.
These supports are the beginning for a person who is DeafBlind getting assistance to have the services he or she needs to live the fullest life possible.