Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, Inc.

Before you buy telephone equipment, see if you qualify for free equipment

In Technology on April 7, 2016 at 9:56 am

By Wayne Johnson, Coordinator of Client Services, Salinas

A client came into our office the other day and said they had received a brochure in the mail for a captioned telephone and had purchased it at a cost of $99.95 on their credit card. Another client came in saying that an out of state family member had purchased a captioned phone for them. However, when it arrived they had no idea how to connect or use it.

Before spending money on a phone advertised as being for the Hard of Hearing check with the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) 1-800-806-1191. CTAP is a program of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program. They provide many Free phones, including captioned phones, for California residents with differences in hearing, vision, mobility, cognitive and speech levels. They also provide great support for those who have their phones, including installation and instruction on how to use the phone you receive.

Always research before agreeing to offers over the phone or sent to you in the mail or e-mail. Many times the same item is available from a government or local program. Programs you can discuss services and equipment with in person and who will be there if you need assistance.

The other important thing to remember is if you do not know someone, no matter how nice they seem on the phone and how they have just what they tell you that you need, if you give them your credit card number you are giving them the keys to your financial kingdom. Unfortunately, I have seen this happen. It can be very expensive and time-consuming to resolve, including fixing your credit rating and dealing with ID theft.

In previous generations, importance was put on “locking your doors” to your home. While that is still extremely important, today we have to lock out people from getting our personal information.

Of course, these offers you receive in the mail may be legitimate. Do your research on the companies, check the Better Business Bureau’s website to see if there are any complaints that would cause you concern. And don’t forget, before you buy anything, check to find out if you can get the equipment for free first. When in doubt, contact us at DHHSC.

Weird Things You Can Do in Excel

In Technology on April 6, 2016 at 3:17 pm

By Kyra Schleef, HR Specialist/ Compliance Officer

Most people think of Excel as a boring spreadsheet used to perform a variety of calculations for various business purposes. However, Excel is quite an elaborate program. People have used it in a variety of ways Microsoft probably never dreamed of.

Below is a list, with links:

1) Art. Yes, people have used Excel to create art. It’s not hard to shrink and stretch Excel’s cells and use its options for adding background color to cells to create pictures. But one man, Horiuchi Tatso, has used Excel to create beautiful nature images. You can see examples of his work here: http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2013/05/28/tatsuo-horiuchi-excel-spreadsheet-artist/

Our ASL program: What we do and how we fundraise to support it

In DHHSC services on December 31, 2015 at 9:50 am

By Lisa Huffman, ASL Instructor

We love working the ASL Summer Program. Every summer we set up a weeks’ worth of events, presentations, crafts and healthy snacks for our parents to participate in with their children. In past years, we have gone to the Fresno Zoo, Round Table Pizza, The Discovery Center, Whitie’s Pet Store, Savemart, Color Me Mine, Fossil Discover Center, and movies. We also have had Pampered Chef present on healthy snacks every summer, and this recent summer we got to mine for gold, make candles and weave a basket, right here at DHHSC.
Each of our events has a fee involved, so we have had grants and fundraisers to help makes these events free for the last two years. Our fundraisers have been selling delicious World’s Finest candy bars and host movie nights at DHHSC. Our most recent movie night featured the movie Polar Express. For fundraising, we sold hot cocoas and lots of yummy candies and popcorn.

Our next movie night will be Feb 6, 2016 at 5pm at DHHSC in Fresno and we will have popcorn, cocoas, candies and soda for purchase to continue to raise funds for the ASL Summer Program 2016. We will have monthly movie nights, so watch for those to be announced. We hope to provide this fun program free of charge again.

Thank you for all of your support of the ASL Summer Program. We love meeting and having fun with our families.

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