(Transcript from the Professional Services video by Jackie Engler-Morris)
The next program I’m going to describe to you is ‘Professional to Professional’ Services. These services can be used by an agency or organization, local government or state agency. Examples would be the Dept of Services for the Blind (DSB), ODHH – Office of Deaf & Hard of Hearing or Seattle Dept of Transportation (SDOT), King County Courthouse, ADWAS (Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services) or various others. The Professional Program includes Professional Support Service Providers (PSSP) and Professional Communication Facilitators (PCF). I’ll give some examples of what the PSP service would look like. A Community College who has a DB student would need a PSSP in order to access a math text book not available in Braille. These services are provided and paid for by the College who would contact me to request PSSP services. Their role would be to provide visual information as to what the math book says. They would meet the DB person at their home or at the school environment and provide visual access to the math text book so they can do their homework. We also have Professional Communication Facilitators or PCFs. A professional might have a teleconference involving several individuals such as a DVR counselor, a Dept of Services for the Blind counselor, possibly an employer to discuss a DB person’s employment. DVR would contact me to request a PCF. The DB person can access the call using a VP from home – the PCF would go to their home and provide access to the conference call through VRS. The discussion with the DVR counselor, DSB counselor and employer would be provided via tactile to allow this person to participate fully in a conference call or phone appointment. Those are examples of our Professional Services Program.
Professional-to-Professional services are SSP, CF, and Braille training services for deaf-blind (DB) individuals in professional situations.
Professional Support Service Provider (PSSP):
A PSSP provides transportation, guiding, and visual/environmental information.
Situations requiring PSSPs:
- Job Interviews
- Shopping for work related attire
- Committee meetings
- Jury duty or appointments related to legal matters
- Major academic events, banquets, or expos
Professional Communication Facilitator (PCF)
A PCF copies sign language from a videophone caller to a deaf-blind person through close vision or tactile sign language. A PCF also shares the visual and environmental information seen on the video screen.
Situations requiring PCFs:
- Interviews related to employment
- Interviews with academic institutions
- Meetings with DVR and/or DSB counselors
- Making calls in the workplace
Instruction in both contracted and un-contracted Braille is available and is structured to meet the learning styles of the deaf-blind client in the language mode most clear to them. Classes are usually conducted in a one-on-one environment.
Who pays for these services?
Deaf-blind individuals do not pay for these services, the requesting agencies do. Federal, state, & local government agencies, such as: the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), the Department of Services for the Blind (DSB), and the court system; employers; consumer agencies; private & non-profit organizations; social clubs; and consumer organizations pay for Professional-to-Professional services.
Agencies wishing to contract services should contact Program Coordinator, Jackie Engler-Morris.