Do you have experience with hearing or vision loss? Are you interested in being trained as an SSP? Follow the following link for more information.
In the Fall of 2013, DeafCAN! began providing the first professional SSP (Support Service Provider) services in Pennsylvania. These services grew out of two years of teaming with deafblind community members to better understand who these various individuals were and what they wanted. During that time, we had many socials and meetings and, in order for any of that to happen, a large pool of committed, volunteer ‘SSPs’ were needed. We all learned together, established a Deaf-Blind Advisory Committee, were provided critical seed funding from the Mill Neck Foundation and the PA Department of Developmental Disabilities and we were off and SSP-ing. Please see the video on our opening page to listen to what DB people themselves say about their need for SSPs.
In 2015, 29 different deaf-blind individuals from six different counties, and the State of Delaware, were provided either paid or volunteer SSPs. DeafCAN! currently has 10 paid SSP staff and more than 20 SSP volunteers. Deaf-Blind consumers who qualify can receive up to ten hours of SSP services per month. All of these services are managed by our SSP Coordinator, Scott Stoffel. Scott is deaf-blind himself and coordinates all requests and assignments.
In order to qualify for paid SSP services, that are free to the consumer, a person must:
- Provide documentation from a medical provider of their hearing & vision loss.
- Live in one of the following eight counties: Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Berks, Lancaster, or Lebanon.
- Be able to independently direct the services of an SSP.
SSPs assist DB people in doing things that they want to do:
- Navigating and communication for shopping, medical appointments, banking, meeting with friends, family, and others…
- Help to handle & understand email and mail, assist with paying bills, phone calls & other communication.
- Support during travel, pursuit of employment & community participation.
SSPs do not ‘do things for’ DB people. For example, they do not provide maintenance, cooking, or cleaning but they can assist the DB consumer in doing all of the above.
DeafCAN! holds regular SSP trainings.
If you have questions about eligibility, or need clarification on how an SSP might work with individuals who are deaf-blind, please contact our office at BillLockard@deafcanpa.org.
This program has been supported by the following Foundations:
Mill Neck Foundation
Phoenixville Community Health Foundation
ELCA (World Hunger funded) Domestic Hunger Grants Program
Allen & Shirley Speiser Foundation
And many other organizations and individuals