Thank you to the state of Ohio for including Support Service Provider Pilot Program in the 2024 & 2025 budgets. This program will help make significant strides towards inclusivity and accessibility for DeafBlind individuals. This commendable initiative reflects society’s growing commitment to ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to lead a fulfilling and independent life. Columbus Speech & Hearing is honored to facilitate this program that services DeafBlind adults throughout the state of Ohio.
DeafBlind individuals have both severe hearing and vision impairments. Navigating and communicating within the community and accessing information can be immensely challenging for DeafBlind individuals. These challenges often result in isolation, limited opportunities, and barriers to living connected, full, healthy lives. Support Service Providers (SSPs) are crucial in bridging these gaps and fostering independence.
SSPs are trained professionals providing navigation assistance and facilitating communication for DeafBlind individuals. They serve as a bridge between the individual and the world around them. Through physical guiding and providing information using the DeafBlind individual’s preferred communication method (for example, tactile sign language), SSPs enable DeafBlind individuals to engage more safely and effectively with their environment and society.
The approval of funding for the SSP Program marks a significant step towards recognizing the rights of DeafBlind individuals to access the world on their terms.