American Association of the Deaf-Blind

May 28, 2010

Executive Director’s Blog

Jamie Pope

I just got back from my stepson’s wedding in North Carolina. Being there reminded me of the big need for trained Support Service Providers (SSPs) for deaf-blind people. Anyone knows that you need to come prepared for a rehearsal and wedding, but if something happens and you are not exactly prepared, it becomes an emergency very quickly. It is easy to do when you are a sighted person and can borrow a car to do emergency shopping. But if you are deaf-blind like me, it becomes very difficult to run a quick errand without the assistance of SSPs. I am very grateful for the help of family members who drove me to the store to get what I needed in the nick of time. I keep thinking to myself if I had a SSP with me, I’d take off right away rather than wait for the 11th hour when family members became available to assist me. A SSP would have made a big difference in lowering my stress levels! Fortunately, everything worked out at the wedding!

At AADB, we are reminded daily of the big need for SSPs so that deaf-blind people can lead independent and productive lives. We’ve been developing the nuts and bolts of a SSP service program and are putting the pieces together so we can submit a proposal for funding soon. This program will include:

  • training and certification of SSPs at AADB’s national symposium and possibly other deaf-blind related events so that more trained SSPs are available to work with deaf-blind people across the country, and
  • SSP services in states where no SSP services are currently available for deaf-blind people.

Please help us to get this much needed SSP service project off the ground. Without SSPs, it will be difficult, almost impossible, for deaf-blind people to get around, access their community, hook up and talk with people, and make a contribution to society because SSPs are the “eyes and ears” of deaf-blind people. Many deaf-blind Americans will be isolated without the assistance of SSPs. You can help by making a tax-deductible donation online. Or, if you prefer, you can mail your donation to AADB at 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121, Silver Spring, MD 20910. You can also help by sharing “AADB Today” with people you know. The more people are aware about AADB and deaf-blind people, the better chance we have to improve the quality of life of deaf-blind people everywhere.

We have lots of news in this May issue of “AADB Today”. I hope you find this and future issues enjoyable and informative whether you are deaf-blind, an interpreter, a family member, a legislator, a business owner, an educator, and/or a proud supporter of AADB. Happy reading!

Thanks so much for all the support you’ve given AADB and the national deaf-blind community!

Warm regards,

Jamie Pope
Executive Director

AADB in Action

Council of State Administrators for Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR)

At the CSAVR Spring Conference, Jamie Pope, Executive Director, gave a short presentation about SSPs to the Committee on Services to Individuals who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened.

National SSP Pilot Project (NSSPPP)

Last month, AADB had the opportunity to have two people from the NSSPPP under Deaf-Blind Services Center (DBSC) in Seattle, WA, give an orientation about their SSP curriculum at the AADB Office.

See details of both articles on SSPs...

Broadband Access

AADB has been involved in more broadband issues for people with disabilities recently. Elizabeth Spiers, AADB’s Director of Information Services, attended a networking breakfast hosted by Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA). For details on the Broadband Access...

Deaf-Blind Community Representative

Ms. Elizabeth Spiers had the honor of witnessing the Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, signing Senate Bill 79 into law on May 4, 2010. See details of this bill...

2010 Spring Technology Campaign

The American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) proudly kicks off its 2010 Spring Technology Campaign, starting May 25, 2010. Our goal is to to begin a new program of training and education on purchasing new technology equipment. This will be in addition to our current advocacy work on affordable, accessible technology for all deaf-blind people. For more information, please check your mail, email and our website.

Please support our Technology program! This will enable deaf-blind people to get the tools and information they need to achieve a better quality of life in their homes, communities and their work. You can give now...

Symposium Planning Underway!

AADB is getting an early start in planning for the national 2011 symposium to be held June 19-23, 2011 in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky (across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio). It takes many hands and creative minds to pull off a successful symposium that is accessible for hundreds of deaf-blind people. For more detail about the 2010 AADB Symposium...

Pay Pal Now Available!

AADB is always seeking new ways to make it easier for donors to give support to AADB. We are pleased to announce that we now have Pay Pal available on AADB’s website as one of many options that donors can give to AADB.


New Interpreting Curriculum Guide

The National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting (NTFDBI), a collaboration between AADB, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, and the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC), would like to announce the revised version of the Curriculum Guide for Infusing Deaf-Blind Interpreting Throughout an Interpreter Education Program. For more information about the curriculum guide...

Past Issues of AADB Today

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Want to Help?

Like what you see? Consider making an online donation to AADB at our website, or contact AADB at:

  • AADB
    8630 Fenton Street
    Suite 121
    Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
  • 301-495-4402 TTY/VP
  • 301-495-4403 Voice
  • 301-495-4404 Fax
  • Email: