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Talking Points

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MAIN ISSUE: The need for a professional Support Service Provider Program for DeafBlind citizens of Texas

  • Texas has one of the largest populations of DeafBlind citizens in the U.S.
  • Combined hearing and vision losses equals profound isolating effects in the community for previously sighted and/or hearing or deaf adults.
  • Existing continuum of services for DeafBlind individuals in Texas lack this major accommodation for otherwise autonomous DeafBlind adults.
  • More than 20 states already have a SSP Program.
  • Currently, most SSPs are volunteers on an informal e-mail listserv.

A VIABLE SOLUTION: Pass and establish a Texas Pilot Program for Professional SSP Services for Persons who are DeafBlind

  • The community of autonomous DeafBlind adults need this accommodation to better access their environment and make informed decisions.
  • SSPs assist with accomplishing everyday tasks. Examples are:
    • Reading the mail,
    • relaying visual descriptions of the environment,
    • providing transportation to and from locations, such as grocery stores, medical appointments, and many other personal errands as well as allowing participation in community events.
  • SSPs do NOT have the responsibility of licensed caretakers and/or Interpreters.
  • SSPs services do NOT replace or overlap existing DeafBlind rehabilitation or waiver services in our state.
  • The DeafBlind Community in Texas WANTS this program.
  • This program will be a high impact solution for the needs of a low-incidence disability.