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Service Roles within a Diverse Texas DeafBlind Community

Deafblind adults want to navigate their environment, participate in the community, make autonomous decisions and live independently, with greater quality of life, safety, and community access.

There is a gap in existing services to the estimated 2,500 deafblind adult Texans who face barriers in addressing basic needs such as shopping, errands, reading mail and safely traveling to and attending public events, including voting, business, and health services. Professional Support Service Providers (SSPs) fill the gaps that sign language interpreters and interveners do not cover.

Deafblind people have a wide range of individualized needs, depending on the impact on hearing and vision, onset of deafblindness and communication modes used. Deafblind children receive services while in school, and those with an additional disability can receive lifelong intervener services through a Medicaid waiver program. Language-proficient autonomous deafblind adults living in their own homes are not eligible for these services.

Interpreters provide language access for certain scheduled events, but that alone does not create true access due to mobility and information-gathering barriers. SSPs cover a range of situations that sign language interpreters do not.

 

A chart can be downloaded below!

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