The Communication Facilitator (CF) Program enables deafblind individuals to access videophones (VP) and video relay services (VRS). DBSC is contracted with the State of Washington’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to provide CF services and video communication awareness for deafblind community members. DBSC is the first and only agency in the United States to provide a CF program.
What is a Communication Facilitator (CF)?
A communication facilitator, or CF, is a skilled signer who copies sign language from a caller as shown on a videophone screen, and provides visual information to a deafblind person through close vision or tactile sign language during VRS and/or face-to-face calls. CF service also benefits deafblind individuals by allowing them to freely express themselves in their own language and to communicate directly without worrying about English being their second language.
DBSC trains both CFs and CF users and coordinates services. CF service can be provided upon request at the deafblind person’s home, in public places such as Starbucks or the library, at DBSC, the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, or the DVR office in Yakima.
CF’s are not employees of DBSC. They are paid, independent contractors who commit to provide CF services to a deafblind individuals. CFs are paid an hourly rate by DBSC for these services.
For more information about this program, please contact Program Coordinator, Jackie Engler-Morris.