Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, Inc.

Why follow us on Twitter? And what’s Twitter?

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2016 at 2:01 pm

By J. Parrish Lewis, Project Director

You might already know about Twitter, but just in case you don’t: Twitter is a social media platform that allows people to create simple accounts that include profiles and short messages called “Tweets.”

Twitter has been around for a decade, so it is nothing new, but many in the Deaf Community do not yet use Twitter.

The biggest advantage of Twitter is that each tweet is limited to no more than 140 characters, which is a short message. Added to these messages you will see hashtags such as #whyIsign, or you will see Twitter accounts linked, such as @DHHSCtweets.

Preserving ASL, Deaf Culture and You!

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm

By Razonda Munyaradzi, Staff Interpreter

There are so many Deaf people who are very talented.  You are one of them!  Many of these individuals, like you, are mainly known in your own communities.  You have so much to offer to the world!  We need to do what we can to encourage one another to pass on the rich abilities and history only you can share!

It is almost like a situation in a class, church or workplace where there are a few people who are well known for their capabilities.  However, there are so many more people who are also there who have skills that none of the rest of us have or know that they possess.  When we get to know and motivate people to share their special knowledge (such as knowing signs in a different language like Mexican Sign Language), then not only do we develop an appreciation of the person who can teach it, but then others will also benefit from learning this skill!  You might have become familiar with tri-lingual hearing interpreters (who speak ASL, Spanish and English).  Well there are tri-lingual Deaf interpreters as well (who know ASL, Spanish or Hmong, and English)!

There are Deaf business owners, travel agents, artists, seamstresses, book writers, cooks, bakers, photographers, educators, doctors, dentists, lawyers, government officials, etc. who have come a long way in their experience only to see the impact on their immediate community, when they could impress and inspire the world!  We cannot just let them go down in history without celebrating them the whole way through!

This means you are invited to share YOUR skill, wisdom and abilities with our community and beyond.  We welcome young and old.  We might be surprised to find so much more talent where we overlooked it before, shame on us.  What will it take to draw you out?  Would you like to participate in a talent show?  Do you prefer to contact us and let us know where you can help our community?  What is it that you have that you would like to pass on to others so that it will continue to preserve ASL, Deaf Culture and all that makes you YOU?

We’d love to have a “forever” party for you!  (Replace the “o” in “forever” with the shape of a heart and you will see how much we truly cherish you and all you do!)

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.

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