(Transcript for the Case Management video by Napal Tesfai)
Hello, My name is Napal. I am one of the case managers here at DBSC. I would like to explain about what we do here. Here at DBSC, we believe that communication is one of the core barriers DeafBlind individual face in receiving quality services. We provide opportunities for DeafBlind individuals to receive the information they need in order to understand their available options and make informed decisions. When we work with DeafBlind individuals, all information is provided in their preferred method of communication– whether that be Braille, Close- Vision (CV), or Pro-Tactile Sign Language (PTASL). Our staff, myself, Cathy, and Allie possesses the language and communication skills to meet the broadest possible spectrum of language and communication needs. The Types of Advocacy we provide are the following: -Case Advocacy where we work with DeafBlind Individual on helping them find services and options to improve their lives. For example: Housing, Medical, Legal, SSA, and so on. -Education Advocacy where we work with Service Providers on how to work with DeafBlind individuals. We also work with the public on increasing awareness of DB culture and needs. Self-Advocacy where we can support DB individual with being able to empower them and to express their needs to advocate for themselves. For example: Communicating with Service Providers about setting up appointments and making Interpreting requests, talking with their Employer about creating accommodations at work, and many more.
The Advocacy Program at DBSC is staffed by two case managers and a part-time senior citizens’ advocate.
DeafBlind consumers’ have limited to virtually nonexistent access to public communications and information on laws and public policy initiatives passed by local and federal legislative bodies. This lack of information directly affects their rights as individuals and their ability to influence change on their own behalf.
The staff at DBSC believe that every deafblind person has the right to be aware of and understand city, state, and federal governmental information. For a deafblind person, being unable to read and comprehend an application for services because it is not in an accessible format is a formidable obstacle. With technology and our assistance these obstacles are reduced or even eliminated.
Types of Advocacy:
- Self-Advocacy: Expressing their needs for themselves and for their support team. For example: confronting a landlord regarding a safety issue in their residence or being involved in their child’s educational plan by meeting directly with those in the school system.
- Case Advocacy: Receiving guidance working through documents, such as, applications to receive public assistance.
- Public Education Advocacy: Promoting public awareness of deafblind customs and culture.
- Public Policy Advocacy: Being active in public policy by influencing political leaders’ votes or opinions with letters, petitions, or research.
- Private Policy Advocacy: Influencing change in corporate and private institution polices to improve accessibility. Our advocacy specialists are actively involved in empowering deafblind individuals through information and referrals, keeping them informed of public resources and policy issues, and providing opportunities for them to make a difference.
- Case Management: Working with communities and people, helping them find options and services to improve their lives through situation assessment, service-plan development and implementation, and coordinating the appropriate services.
- Education: Enhancing awareness of deaf-blindness to other agencies and the community-at-large.
- Research: Gathering information for individuals seeking additional data related to their situation.
- Support: Serving as an empathetic support counselor.
- Referral: Assessing a situation and providing referrals to agencies or services best suited toward a resolution.
- Mediation: Coordinating and facilitating meetings towards achieving one’s goals.
How to Receive Services:
If you are interested in receiving advocacy services contact us at: VP (206) 455-7932 or email: DeafBlind Service Center.