In 2014, The Center for Independent Living of Central PA (CILCP) was awarded a grant by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) to implement a statewide Support Service Provider (SSP) Program for people who are deaf-blind. The Deaf-Blind Living Well Services (DBLWS) is a PA statewide initiative designed to help individuals who are deaf-blind to access information, achieve independence, and touch the future. DBLWS training independent contractors, known as SSPs, to support Pennsylvanians who have a dual sensory loss in both vision and hearing, and are 18 year old or older and have completed high school. With Support Service Provider (SSP) services, people who are deaf-blind can lead an empowered, independent life in their work, family, and social activities.
Your comments on this program are urgently requested by DBLWS, which seeks to receive funding from the Office of Long term Living. The funding that DBLWS is asking for from the OLTL would provide SSP services to persons who are eligible for PA health insurance and waiver programs.
Recently the OLTL published a document that did not include any information about Deafblindness or Support Service Providers. DBLWS urges consumers who are deafblind, Support Service Providers, family members, parents, and other professionals, to submit comments to the OLTL to include a service definition of SSP and deafblind in the Appendix C participant services document. It is very very important to provide comments to secure this funding. Without comments the OLTL will not understand the importance of including information about Deafblindness and SSPs to our community.
It is requested that you urge OLTL to "Add a service definition of Deafblind and SSP into the Appendix C participant services document". Attached is the form in which you should use to submit your comments. Below is a short description of SSP that DBLWS uses:
"A SSP provides services directly to persons who are Deaf-Blind. They are trained in Orientation & Mobility methods, communication facilitation, and providing environmental and visual information to persons who are Deaf-Blind. Most SSPs are trained in American Sign Language and/or tactile interpreting. However, SSP is not a substitute for a certified interpreter when needed for effective communication. The SSP is a trained facilitator who assists the Deaf-Blind individual in the community. This can include, but is not limited to, activities such as grocery shopping, visiting stores and restaurants, going to doctors' appointments or other similar day-to-day activities essential to independent living. An SSP does not assist with personal care activities such as bathing or grooming."
There is concern that if OLTL does not get emails they will think SSP is not important and may not fund the SSP program. DBLWS requests you send an email and also encourage others to do so as well, to ensure OLTL understand the unique needs of persons who have a combined vision and hearing loss.
The deadline to send email is May 23, 2016.
Send your email to RAemail@example.com
Subject: deafblind and SSP
Or by mail: Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management, Attention: CHC Waiver, P.O. Box 8025, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8025
Subject: deafblind and SSP
In your email, include the following information:
(2) Town, County where you live
(3) Your role with SSP and/or deafblindness
(4) "Add definition of deafblind and SSP into "Appendix C participant services document".
(5) It is important that OLTL understands the unique needs of a person who has a combined vision and hearing loss.
For questions contact:
Marsha Drenth, Program Manager
Center for Independent Living of Central PA Pennsylvania Deaf-Blind Living Well Services
CILCP | 207 House Avenue Suite 107, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Voice: 717-731-1900 | Toll Free: 800-323-6060
TTY: 717-737-1335 | Toll Free: 800-829-7404