Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind

Community News


Federal Appropriation $500,000
Department of Education: Deaf-Blind Project Report for Fiscal Year 2000
Department of Education: Deaf-Blind Project Report for Fiscal Year 2001
Department of Education: Deaf-Blind Project Report for Fiscal Year 2002

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New Updates Coming!

Federal Appropriation $500,000

Federal appropriation $500,000 Here is the latest news for funding at the federal level. If you remember, the Deaf-Blind Coalition (DBSC, LH, WSDBC, and WFFDB) had asked for about $850,000. That money would fund the three top priorities as chosen by each group. The breakdown is as follows: DBSC chose their top priority as SSP services, the Lighthouse chose their priority as Computer training and equipment for Deaf-Blind individuals, and WSDBC chose their top priority as funding interpreting services. The House and the Senate both made changes to their budgets. After they went back and forth, the amount of money left in the budget for the Deaf-Blind community was about $500,000. That is very good news!

Original Request
$217,000 DBSC
$ 25,000 WSDBC
$595,000 LH

$838,440 Total Amount of request

After 41% decrease
$130,000 DBSC
$ 15,000 WSDBC
$355,000 LH

$$500,000 Projected funds

We do not yet have this money. There is a lot of paper work to do before the government gives any money, but we are hoping to get this funding by late summer or fall. This funding does not have to be used in one year. The federal government will give us 3 to 5 years to use this money.

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Department of Education: Deaf-Blind Project
Report for Fiscal Year 2000

Number of people served June 30, 2000 through September 30, 2000

Amount of funds spent June 30,2000 through September 30, 2001 = $144,041.

Project Activities
The following activities have taken place in the first year ( June 2000 through September 2000) of funding.

Service expansion:

New staff are helping to meet the ever growing demand for services. Finding the ?right person? for our jobs and conducting interviews that were culturally and linguistically accessible was a lengthy but extremely rewarding process. We were pleased to have very high caliber applicants from which to choose.

The summer has been spent hiring, supporting, and training our new staff, while undergoing remodeling of office space, cabling and purchasing equipment for our technology needs.

Our new staff are:

Community Class Assistant: Jackie Engler, a Deaf-Blind person who has Usher Syndrome, was hired in July. Jackie has been actively involved in the Deaf-Blind community in Seattle for many years, providing community education and coordinating recreational events and volunteer support for Washington State Deaf-Blind Citizens.

Jackie has been working on the Fall and Winter schedules and class preparation for Deaf-Blind Community. In addition to facilitating classes every 2 weeks, Jackie works with presenters on their presentations, ensures that the classroom environment is set up appropriately for optimal communication, and handles numerous logistical details.

The class is a major training ground for future interpreters and other professionals in deaf-blindness. Classes are currently being attended by 39 Deaf-Blind people. 60 interpreters, many of them students, and others provide interpreting and other supports.

Development Associate: Jeff Patterson is on board as Development Associate and is playing a significant role in developing additional funding streams for Deaf-Blind Program services. He will work closely with the Development Director, other staff, volunteers, donors and prospects to help build a sustainable and effective resource development program.

Some of the development projects that have been undertaken are:

  • The formation of a standing resource development committee by The Lighthouse Board of Directors. This committee of board members, staffed by the Development Department, will help plan and implement the resource development plan. The committee will facilitate participation of the board in raising funds from the community.

  • Creation of a written resource development plan for the fiscal year October 1 through September 30. This plan will be monitored and revised as necessary by the resource development committee. The written plan includes a quarterly Lighthouse newsletter, quarterly appeals to past donors, quarterly Lighthouse tours for community members, corporate and foundation grant writing, and web-based fundraising. Mailing of first quarterly appeal to past donors.

  • Completion of first quarterly newsletter, “Horizons”.

  • Identification of potential corporate and foundation funders.

  • Submission of a formal grant request to the Seattle Foundation.

Housing Assistant: Nancy Wickward joined our Lighthouse team in August, focusing her efforts on resolving critical housing issues for Deaf-Blind employees whose employment and independence is threatened by the difficulty of finding affordable quality housing in the Seattle/King County area.

Housing activities thus far have included:
  • Housing curriculum in progress ? developed goals, exploring curriculum ideas/ procedures. Addressing training issues.

  • Initiated research exploring local resources through contact with affordable housing providers, including site visits.

  • Interviewed executive director of HSDC (Hearing Speech and Deafness Center) regarding their future project for creating affordable housing to be completed in October 2002 and advocated for Deaf-Blind participation.

  • Began assisting Deaf-Blind employees with housing search for market rate apartments/ low-income housing.

  • Offered support to one employee regarding negotiations with Seattle Housing Authority (HUD provider).

  • Attended Tenant?s Union meetings to learn about current housing issues and renter?s rights legislation.

  • Made contact with the Deaf-Blind Service Center to discuss coordination of services over housing issues and to plan a future meeting for updates on local Deaf-Blind community efforts to develop their own housing.

Additional activities that have occurred over the last 3 months include:

Website development: The Deaf-Blind Program website ( went ?live? on October 2nd. We are happy to report that our website passed the Bobby Standards, which are standards for accessibility. Deaf-Blind people were involved in the design, content, and testing of the site. We will continue to add additional program information.

Community Class Volunteer support and Appreciation: At the close of our Spring Quarter for Deaf-Blind Community class, an appreciation event for the 60+ volunteers who supported the class was held. Volunteers had an opportunity to celebrate the success of the years? classes, and to renew their commitment to future classes.

Summer Class activities: Deaf-Blind people, each with individual interpreting support had the opportunity to participate in a dance and movement workshop offered by Ewajo Dance Studio in August. 15 Deaf-Blind individuals also participated in a ceramics workshop offered by a company named The Dancing Brush.

DC interpreting project. The purpose of this project is to give interpreting staff at the Congressional Special Services (CSS) training on deaf-blindness. Due to scheduling difficulties, planning for the DC interpreting project was delayed until October 2000. Working with CSS staff, we have developed a 3 part training proposal. Deaf-Blind individuals living in the greater DC area will be providing Part 1 of the training in February 2000, with support from Lighthouse staff. The training may be extended to other interpreters in the DC area who are interested in learning this specialty area. The second part of the training will happen in Seattle, including hands on interpreting experience at the Deaf-Blind Community Class and at a Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat. Part 3 of the training is planned for Washington DC in March 2001. At this time, the plan has not yet been signed off on due to some final scheduling and budgetary issues.

Louisiana Deaf-Blind Community Support Project:

Staff traveled to Louisiana in June to plan training and support in response to numerous requests over the years for the Louisiana Deaf-Blind Community in the greater Lafayette area.
  • Staff met Deaf-Blind people and gathered information about overall community needs

  • Identified potential Deaf-Blind leadership.

  • Established contact for long term relationships with key Deaf-Blind people and others.

  • Identified strategies in which the Lighthouse can partner with the Louisiana Deaf-Blind leadership to increase opportunities and improve quality of life in a culturally appropriate manner.

Through leadership training and exposure to peers involved in leadership activities, provide skills for up to six Deaf-Blind people from Louisiana to support the development of appropriate services in their community. This will occur through training offered in Seattle and the Lafayette area.

Basic Skills to be taught:
    Role of interpreter
    Role of SSP
    Independent and interdependent decision-making
    Interpreter and SSP support and selection
    Meeting planning and facilitation
    Environmental set-up

Leadership training:

In response to requests from Deaf-Blind people, trainings were provided to Deaf-Blind individuals that dealt with different aspects of understanding government and legislative processes.

The Legislative Process was presented at the Deaf-Blind community class in late spring by Linda Williamson. Information covered included background on the roots of American government, the 3 branches of American government, representation in both Houses of Congress, state legislatures and our election process.

The Lighthouse was asked to present about the ?grassroots? process we underwent seeking our federal appropriation at the American Association of the Deaf-Blind national convention in Columbus ,Ohio in July. Maria Garden of Lafayette, Louisiana co-presented with Paula Hoffman. Maria worked with last years? team , providing information on our services, and on the Deaf-Blind Community to members of Congress. Being a Deaf-Blind person with Usher Syndrome enabled Maria to paint a vivid picture from a Deaf-Blind persons? perspective, in rich and pure native American Sign Language of what it was like to call on legislators. She described white marbled halls, metal detectors, dimly lit hallways, young fast-talking staffers and the endless walking that was part of the experience.

Vocational Training and Access Program:

Computer Training:

Over the summer months, Deaf-blind employees received computer training through our Vocational Training and Access program. Training included:
    Zoomtext (enlarged screen reading program)
    JAWs (software program needed to run braille display and voice output systems)
    Introduction to Microsoft WORD
Research and Development:

One of our goals at The Lighthouse is to make the same information that is available to blind employees through adaptive technology, available to Deaf-Blind employees. Technology such as the Voiceman provides a voice readout of precision measurements and is currently in use on our Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machinery. This technology can be made available to Deaf-Blind people through the use of a computer, software, and refreshable Braille display. At present this hardware runs from $9,000 to $15,000 as compared to the cost of the Voiceman at $350. We are exploring ways to provide the same access to information while reducing this cost. Our staff have the additional challenges of devising methods of keeping this sensitive technology uncontaminated and operational in a machine shop environment.

One of our current projects is to modify the CNC screen reader to output to a Braille display. This would take an estimated 250 hours to reprogram and debug. Successfully adapting this equipment will open the door to upward mobility for Deaf-Blind machinists.

Independent Living Training:
Our teaching staff have offered an array of Independent Living skills training over these last 3 months. Training has included managing personal health care issues such as diabetes and breast cancer screening; banking through use of ATM, Braille, nutrition, and American Sign Language.

Employee Support:

Staff have provided various work place supports to employees experiencing health/allergy issues, and communication difficulties with co- workers. With staff involvement and support to supervisors and lead staff, inappropriate work behaviors have been redirected before job per-formance could be seriously impacted.

Guide Dog Support Group: The use of dog guides is relatively new in the Deaf-Blind community. Usually Deaf-Blind people do not have appropriate communication support or interpreting during their training periods. The need for follow-up, review and support is great. Our Dog Guide Support group is scheduled to begin in November. Participants in the group have suggested topics. Areas that will be covered are managing and caring for dog guides, enhancing mobility skills (ie. compass use) to use in tandem with dog guides, sharing humorous and frustrating stories of dog guide experience. Guest speakers will include staff from dog guide schools and pet care professionals.

Quarterly meeting dates have been set through September 2001.

Community support: Deaf-Blind Service Center. Support Service Providers (SSPs)are critical part of independence to Deaf-Blind people. SSPs act as sighted guides and provide visual information to Deaf-Blind people as they shop, bank and participate in community life.Through the Deaf-Blind Service Center (DBSC), 4 Support Service Provider trainings have been provided. The trainer has been Nancy Sommer, a Deaf-Blind woman with Usher Syndrome, who coordinates the SSP program for Deaf-Blind Service Center.

Community support: Deaf-Blind Coalition. Planning for ongoing Deaf-Blind Coalition meetings and activities including community updates have occurred. Interpreting and coordination support for the last DB Community meeting was provided by the Lighthouse and other organizations.

Community Support: Tactile Sign Language Research project. The Lighthouse co-sponsored the visit of the TSL project research team. Lighthouse sponsorship included providing room and board for one of the project staff, during the Retreat, providing staff , meeting space and scheduling support for interviews that occurred in the Lighthouse, and including a workshop about this important research project for participants at the Deaf-Blind Retreat.

Community Support: Washington State Deaf-Blind Citizens (WSDBC) website development. Initial planning to develop an accessible website has occurred with WSDBC president, Nancy Sommer in September. Website design issues are slated for discussion at the next scheduled meeting of the WSDBC Board.

Equipment purchases:

In the last quarter we have been able to enhance independence and accessibility to our services through the purchase of a variety of equipment including:
  • LVD: enhancing access to phones on the work floor,

  • TTY: for training and staff needs

  • Braille displays: for training and staff needs

  • Computers: staff needs

  • Software: training and staff needs

  • Digital camcorder and camera, training, reporting and info sharing

  • Minivan: providing transportation for individuals involved in our Retreat, O&M classes, IL classes and community education.

  • Video telephones : loaned to us by The Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to test feasibility prior to purchase. For signed televideo conversations, reducing use of interpreters, travel to other agencies, or reliance on English systems
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Deaf-Blind Project (84-235J) Performance Report
Year Two ?
October 1, 2000 to September 30, 2001

Funding is being used to:

  • Maintain and expand our employment, education and training programs
  • Develop appropriate technologies and adaptive equipment in manufacturing and service jobs to support upward mobility

  • Foster better communications with the community-at-large through provision of computer training
  • Share information with Deaf-Blind people in other states in culturally appropriate ways in order to foster replication of services.

  • Foster Deaf-Blind leadership through training, opportunities to make presentations, to lead activities to serve as role models

  • Development professionals in the field through interpreter and teacher training and internships

  • Support personal independence and employment retention by developing local housing options

Number of individuals served October 1, 2000 -September 30, 2001

During the last funding cycle have served 137 Deaf-Blind individuals.

An additional 191 students, professionals and paraprofessionals also received training and support

Funds spent October 1, 2000 ? September 30, 2001: $373,826

Progress Report for October 1, 2000 ? September 30, 2001
  1. Internships (Deaf-Blind interpreting) An internship coordinator was hired in June 2001. Her initial focus is to provide interpreting internships during the weeklong Deaf-Blind Retreat at Seabeck. Outreach activities to interns and interpreter training programs have occurred. Five interns participated in the Retreat working with over 60 Deaf-Blind adults with diverse background from across the nation. Future internship activities are being developed.

  2. Development additional funding streams.
    During the first six months of 2001 our Development Department continued to identify, cultivate and seek support from corporate and foundation donors. Over $25,000 was received to support our annual Deaf-Blind retreat and other activities. Steps were taken to create a formal technology plan for the entire organization that can be presented to local major funders.

  3. Deaf-Blind Community Class. Our goals were to 1.provide relevant continuing education to DB adults in accessible setting; 2.Foster DB leadership by providing opportunities to present and play key roles in class delivery 3.Increase number of interpreters able to provide advanced interpreting supports, i.e., Core Interpreting Team (CIT)
    • Classes: We offered 18 classes to 47 Deaf-Blind adults. Deaf-Blind participants play key roles by selecting, planning, and presenting class topics.
    • DB Leadership .Some topic ideas come from agencies that provide services and support to Deaf-Blind people but final selection is determined by Deaf-Blind staff. Each class has been facilitated by a Deaf-Blind person. Other key roles filled by Deaf-Blind individuals have included making announcements, etting up an effective communication environment, being a presenter and providing pre-class training to volunteer interpreters. Our Community Class Assistant, who is a Deaf-Blind person with Usher Syndrome, has greatly enhanced her leadership skills, taking on a larger and larger role throughout the year. In addition to planning topics with other Deaf-Blind people, she has been the key coach for new presenters. Deaf-Blind participants play key roles by selecting, planning, and presenting class topics. Some topic ideas come from agencies that provide services and support to Deaf-Blind people but final selection is determined by Deaf-Blind staff.Each class has been facilitated by a Deaf-Blind person. Other key roles filled by Deaf-Blind individuals have included making announcements, setting up an effective communication environment, being a presenter and providing pre-class training to volunteer interpreters. Our Community Class Assistant, who is a Deaf-Blind person with Usher Syndrome, has greatly enhanced her leadership skills, taking on a larger and larger role throughout the year. In addition to planning topics with other Deaf-Blind people, she has been the key coach for new presenters.
    • Core Interpreter Training (CIT): Two interpreters received in-depth training. One person?s training was focused on providing the role of interpreter/supporter for the facilitator and included: interpreting visual environmental information to the facilitator/presenter; pace of information, relaying visual feedback from audience /class members; maintaining clear ?sight lines? for interpreter team members; working with team; appropriate manner for clarification of interpreted message; timing of information relay (when is it appropriate to ?interrupt? the facilitator, signals/cuing.
      The second interpreter received support and feedback on the role of Voice/Platform interpreter.

  4. Community Class Volunteer Training and Appreciation

    Deaf-Blind classes happen every two weeks. Over the course of the year, 86 volunteer interpreters participated in class The pre-class information is delivered to interpreters with extreme consistency. Interpreters are given an outline of the pending class, a list of pertinent vocabulary signs/words and an expanded summary of the topic information as well as any announcements to be made that evening. This information is generally provided through email a minimum of one week prior to the class.

    Thirty minutes prior to the class the information is reviewed, signs and grammar are modeled, and interpreters have an opportunity to ask detailed questions about the content. Interpreters are also coached on ergonomics and reduction of physical stress, placement of chairs, proper seating, protecting ?sight lines?.

    Each class offers interpreters a chance to select specific skill sets to work on. Some of these are: Pidgin signed English (in tactile or visual mode), American Sign Language (in tactile or visual mode), ?minimal language (MLS) interpreting incorporating gestures, drawing and writing. Interpreting opportunities can be 1:1 or with a small group. Visual interpreting can happen at close range for an individual with acuity limitations, or at a greater distance for a person with clear acuity with a restricted field of vision. Voice interpreting, platform interpreting, and copy sign interpreting are also included in the range of situations offered.

    We work closely with the Mentor Project-to-date providing opportunities for seven people to work with four mentors. Additional support is provided through an interpreter coordinator at each class with training prior to class and recognition of interpreter efforts with thank you gifts and door prizes.

    A volunteer thank you event was held on June 1 at the Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Thirty-five interpreters attended the catered event receiving the ?Stomp! Clap! Wave!? class T-shirt. Relaxing activities for the interpreters were included as part of the program.

    Additionally, two or three times throughout the year we recognize and have a special evening for our volunteers. Food and drinks are provided for everyone. Two or three appreciation gifts are given out ?door-prize style? and a basket of chocolates (which is the appreciation item MOST requested by volunteers) is available at every class. We have retained our volunteer pool despite interpreters graduating from training programs and moving into the work world.

  5. Summer Classes

    On July 15th, 16 Deaf-Blind persons, supported by 30 interpreters, participated in an all-day trip to the Diablo Dam. The Diablo Dam is a major source of electricity for the Seattle area. In addition to seeing the stunning natural beauty of the site, Deaf-Blind participants learned about the origin of our electricity resources, the fundamentals of how this energy source is transformed from water to power and the importance of wise use of and protection of this resource. In light of the current energy situation on the West coast, there could not be a more relevant topic

  6. DC Interpreting Project

    Our original goal/design called for an initial training in Washington DC to be co-presented with members of the Metro Washington Association for the Deaf-Blind and Lighthouse staff. We re-designed our training plan when we were unable to work out scheduling conflicts with the MWADB presenters and with the staff of Congressional Special Services. 2 Washington DC interpreters (one from CSSO and one selected by MWADB) flew to Seattle February 18 ? 22 to participate in a weeklong training focusing on skill sets needed to successfully interpret with Deaf-Blind people. The training took place in a combination of settings including workshops/training held at The Lighthouse, plus interpreting opportunities at large departmental meetings, committee meetings, Deaf-Blind community class, and throughout a weekend Retreat, were offered. Support, feedback, Deaf-Blind mentors, videotaped and written materials were provided to the two trainees. Feedback from participants was positive and both indicated interest in further training opportunities. One interpreter trainee came back to Seattle in August to volunteer interpret at the week long, Seabeck Deaf-Blind Retreat, attended by Deaf-Blind people throughout the United States.

  7. Louisiana Deaf-Blind Support Project

    Our goal was to foster leadership development and replication of service models in Louisiana Deaf-Blind Community through exposure to service models, empowerment philosophy, resources and peer leaders. Implement ?exchange program? model with trainees and training team model

    We re-designed our training plan and measurements through input we received from leaders in the Lafayette Louisiana Deaf-Blind Community.

    The design change resulted in four Deaf-Blind leaders from the Lafayette Deaf-Blind community coming to Seattle to learn first hand about best practices and exemplary service models. They were able to meet and learn from Deaf-Blind peers. Their training emphasized group communication, use and roles of interpreters, setting up effective communication environment and included a combination of workshops, field trips, experiential learning (participation and observation of group events) and direct contact with peers and leaders in Seattle?s Deaf-Blind community. The training was videotaped and copies given to each participant.

  8. Leadership Training

    Six Deaf-Blind individuals participated in self-advocacy training and presentation skill development provided by Mark Landreneau, the Government Affairs Specialist for The Lighthouse, and is a Deaf-Blind person with Usher Syndrome. Training was provided in a culturally sensitive manner, in which participants discussed and practiced presentations, accompanied and observed Mark on educational visits and discussed the results after each presentation.

  9. Leadership Training (National)
    We had planned to provide four-day leadership retreat in Seattle. Topics included: facilitation skills in group meetings; setting up supportive communication environment; roles of CIT interpreters; recruiting and retaining interpreter support

    Due to the complexity of designing, selecting participants and scheduling this training it has been moved to the third year of our grant.

  10. Materials Development

    Materials related to Louisiana training will be developed and distributed to participants.

    The training was completed on June 14th. Training materials will be mailed to participants by August 1st. Materials will be ready for other interested parties in August 2001.

  11. Vocational Computer Training
    Our goal was to Increase versatility of job skills by providing job ?related computer skills to six Deaf-Blind employees. Training will include elements of: beginning keyboarding, Braille display and screen readers; screen magnifier; Outlook e-mail; Windows file management and navigation; MS Word; MS Internet Explorer and WWW) Five Deaf-Blind employees received training on keyboarding. Four of these students successfully learned the keyboard and are able to move forward to learning the JAWS screen reader program. (One student discontinued classes). Two additional students are being trained on the JAWS screen reader program

  12. IL Computer Training
    Our goal was to Provide training to Deaf-Blind individuals for personal use and to provide technical assistance on setting up and installation of home PC systems; trouble shoot home systems This position was filled in June 2001. Progress to date has included eight Deaf-Blind individuals receiving one or more of the following services: Computer skills evaluation, basic email instruction, basic software repair, web browsing training, adaptive technology technical assistance, security technology technical assistance and NexTalk TTY in computer setup. Individual curriculum has been developed. General course description and detail has also been developed.

  13. Independent Living (IL) Training

    Twenty-six Deaf-Blind adults have received Independent Living training. Classes included use of debit cards, use of the ATM, check writing and checking account maintenance, food management, low-fat cooking, lactose intolerant meal preparation, kitchen safety, telecommunications training including use of pagers and other adaptive equipment, Grade 1 and 2 Braille instruction, tactile sign language, sewing and clothes (color) identification. An additional 6 Deaf-Blind adults participated in exercise/nutrition classes offered by our Independent living program. {See Appendix: Independent Living Exercise Classes}. Alexander Technique, mat exercise and stretching, plus water activities were offered to 55 Deaf-Blind participants at the Seabeck Retreat.

  14. Housing Assistance

    Since August 2000 the Housing Specialist has been working hard to assist Lighthouse employees and potential employees with their housing needs. To date, direct assistance in the form of housing resource information, rental housing searches, trouble-shooting and referral, and site visitations have been provided to 14 Deaf-Blind employees. The total number of hours in direct service for these efforts has been 101.5 hours from August 2000 to May 2001. This assistance has included the successful application for rental housing in three cases. In one case, the Housing Specialist became involved in an effort to secure accommodations in the form of a paging system and smoke alarm system commonly used by Deaf-Blind tenants. The above hours reflect actual time spent with Deaf-Blind employees and does not reflect the time for searching apartment resources (newspaper, internet, other preparatory activities).

    Resources of affordable housing programs has been explored and filed for future efforts in the process of locating housing. Finding additional resources is ongoing.

    A workshop was attended regarding the Fair Housing Act for learning about the legal rights of people with disabilities. Assistance was also offered by the Housing Coordinator, in cooperation with the Deaf-Blind Service Center during an investigation by the Seattle Office of Civil Rights together with Deaf-Blind tenants of a local low-income housing facility. Eleven hours of staff time was used for this effort.

    Materials are in the process of being gathered to develop an informational brochure for potential landlords of Deaf-Blind people and will occur in collaboration with the Deaf-Blind Service Center.

    Plans are currently in process to set up a First-Time Home Buyers Class for five Deaf-Blind employees and respective partners in September of 2001 through the Bank of America. Bank of America has agreed to pay for interpreting costs estimated at $3,200 for five class sessions. This will involve four interpreters for two tactile Deaf-Blind participants and three platform interpreters for the other partially sighted participants. Information has been provided to participants on how to get a credit check in anticipation of the class. Assistance will be offered as needed. Additional Deaf-Blind employees are on a waiting list for a second series of classes. One hard-of-hearing employee chose to pursue his own class through Phoenix Mortgage and has become qualified for a low-income loan.

    Following the course completion and qualification of each participant they may become eligible for $15,000 to use toward the down payment on a house or condo.

  15. Community Support: Support Service Providers

    Through a subcontract with the Deaf-Blind Service Center, 13 Deaf-Blind individuals received training on how to utilize Support Service Provider services. Forty-eight SSP?s received training. Forty-four individuals received Deaf-Blind orientation training. Fourteen current SSP?s received updated training and information. One hundred thirty people received information through presentations about the SSP Program. Funds were also used to help develop an SSP manual and orientation materials.

  16. Community Support: Deaf-Blind Coalition

    Interpreting services are essential for Deaf-Blind people to be able to communicate effectively in group situations and to hold leadership positions. Interpreting services have been coordinated and delivered for eight Deaf-Blind coalition meetings. 70 hours of interpreting and 20 hours of coordination were provided. The next large community meeting is scheduled for November 2001.

  17. Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat

    At this time, one weekend Retreat was held February 23?26. A second Retreat was tentatively planned for Fall of 2001 but there is some question of overtaxing the capacity of our interpreting community, as well as ?competing? with the Fall Retreat of the Oregon Deaf-Blind community. Staff is looking at this issue.

    The first weekend Retreat provided 18 DB people and 29 volunteers with a great winter weekend at the Lake Retreat Camp in Ravensdale, WA, about an hour drive southeast of Seattle. In addition to hiking and sightseeing at the Retreat site, cozy snacks, games, soaking in a hot tub and crafts at the lodge, the group enjoyed snowshoeing, inner-tubing, snowball fights and shopping in a small local town. Deaf-Blind people led most of the activities at camp. Volunteer interpreters gained valuable linguistic and cultural skills working closely with Deaf-Blind participants over the weekend.

  18. Developmentally-Disabled Deaf-Blind Retreat

    Nine Developmentally-Disabled Deaf-Blind campers enjoyed a recreational Retreat with the support of 25 volunteer interpreter guides. The interpreter guides received training and support about communication skills, guiding and empowerment. The Retreat was held at the Miracle Ranch in Gig Harbor, WA, and included horseback riding, crafts and other leisure activities.

  19. Dog Guide Support

    This year the dog guide support group met as planned on four different occasions for approximately two hours each meeting (11/3/00, 12/12/00, 3/2/01, 5/4/01). Five Deaf-Blind members were present with their service dogs. The interaction was very congenial and interactive with lots of personal stories about how each person?s dog performed, as well as challenges that occurred for each individual.

    Some of the topics included the value of visibility and protective clothing that enhanced visibility, and behavior management at work, on the bus and while en route to a destination.

    At the next meeting, we will attempt inviting a veterinarian to offer medical/ nutritional advice for the members. An invitation to make a guest appearance has been extended to a trainer at Leader Dog for the Blind who has worked with four out of five of our members.

  20. Deaf-Blind Employee Support/Teacher

    The role of this position was to support service expansion, job retention services, and expansion of IL classes .

    Forty-three employees received the following supports during the last funding cycle: cultural mediation/ problem-solving miscommunications with supervisors/co-workers; explanation of employment policies; information and support re: medical issues such as managing diabetes, decision-making, presentation skills development and information and referral to agencies in the community.

  21. Assistant Manager Position

    After reviewing our needs this position title has been changed to Deaf-Blind Teaching and Technology Services Supervisor. The position was advertised in July 2001. This position was filled in September 2001. The role of this supervisor to support and guide expanded staff and to further develop our Computer training services.

  22. Vocational Training Support Position

    This position title has changed to Deaf-Blind Assistive Technology Specialist. The position was filled in July 2001 and will support employment opportunities and upward mobility through job design, environmental design and training on adaptive equipment.

  23. Research and Development Activities:

    Technologies explored during this past year have included a Braille display for measuring instruments, which is currently accessible to a blind machinist through voice output, but not accessible to a Deaf-Blind precision machinist. Being unable to accurately measure precision parts is a barrier to moving into a Set-up position. Activities involved in this project included testing and selection of appropriate computer components for a machine shop environment. The Braille Lite was chosen due to its lightweight and portability. Additional activities were configuring the computer, development of a Braille Lite checklist and modifying a Braille Lite manual. Documents are updated ?as needed?. Three Deaf-Blind machinists have been trained on this equipment and are successfully using this equipment in their job.
    Videoconference technology is also being explored and tested among staff as a communication option for Deaf-Blind people who want to read signs visually. The viability of three types of video technology has been explored and tested by Deaf-Blind people.

  24. Deaf-Blind Orientation & Mobility Specialist


    Due to necessary program and space re-structuring, recruiting and hiring for this position was rescheduled for October 2001.

    Dissemination activities include:
    • Presentation at the American Association of the Deaf-Blind National Convention in 2000
    • Articles in the Deaf-Blind Perspective and Deaf-Blind American publications
    • Presentation at Deaf-Blind Community Class in Seattle
    • Presentation at RSA/DOL national conference July 2001
    • Distribution of Discovery Channel videotape featuring the Seattle Deaf-Blind community to families, professionals, legislators and other interested persons.

    Best Practices Exemplified in Our Project
    • Deaf-Blind leadership throughout our project services
    • Exemplary interpreting and communication support throughout all projects
    • Appropriate cultural expertise
    • Projects designed by Deaf-Blind people

Department of Education: Deaf-Blind Project (84-235J)
Performance Report

Report for Fiscal Year 2002

125 Number of people served October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002

Activity #1 Vocational Computer Training

Increase versatility of job skills by providing job?related computer skills to six Deaf-Blind employees. Training will include elements of: beginning keyboarding, Braille display and screen readers; screen magnifier; Outlook e-mail; Windows file management and navigation; MS Word; MS Internet Explorer and WWW; Open Book Ruby scanner system; NexTalk TTY software; AS 400 business system training


  • Number of DB employees participating and completing training.
  • Documentation of outcomes achieved.
  • Type of training provided.
8 Deaf-Blind employees received vocational computer training during this funding cycle. All 8 of these individuals successfully completed their training and met their goals.

Outcomes achieved included independent use of network computers, software or other equipment for the following:
  • Basic email practices
  • Common word processing practices
  • Common file management tools and practices
  • Exposure to the Internet
  • Improve skills for database management
  • Independent use of Braille embosser equipment and Duxbury Braille Translation software
  • Independent use of scanner equipment and software
  • Opportunity to compare software and assistive technology products and select one that best matches their needs
  • Increased independence in use of screen reader and magnification software which enhances work skills as well as personal use skills
  • Successfully used Video Relay Service for interpreting needs
Types of training and evaluation services included:
  • Evaluation of potential Accessible Technology adjustments and/or improvements
  • Microsoft Outlook for email communication with contacts inside and outside of LH
  • Microsoft Word for word processing
  • Internet Explorer for browsing the Internet
  • Microsoft Access for database management
  • Microsoft Excel for spreadsheet use
  • Windows Explorer for file management
  • Keyboarding practice
  • Use of PowerBraille 40 or 80
  • Use of Scanner equipment
  • Braille Embosser equipment
  • General computer use
  • Outlook set up
  • JAWS, (speech output program) beginning level
  • Magic, screen magnifier program
Activity #2 IL Computer Training for Personal Use

Provide computer training to Deaf-Blind individuals for personal use. Provide technical assistance on setting up and installation of home PC systems; trouble shoot home systems

  • Monthly statistics reflecting goals, progress and outcomes achieved.
  • Number and types of technical assists documented and reported.
Training and evaluation was provided to 11 Deaf-Blind people using home computers for the following topics:
  • Evaluate for potential Accessible Technology adjustments and/or improvements
  • Assist and attempt to resolve technical problems and technical support issues
  • Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Outlook Express for email communication with family, friends and work
  • Microsoft Word for word processing
  • Internet Explorer for browsing the Internet.
  • Windows Explorer for file management
10, of the 11 Deaf-Blind individuals successfully completed training on their goals.

Technical Support Issues
Technical support in their home was provided to 17 Deaf-Blind people. Of the 42 Technical Support issues recorded, 37 issues were resolved using Lighthouse staff to the requestor?s satisfaction (88%). The remaining issues were referred to outside sources and one was discontinued. Some people had more than one issue to be resolved. Technical support issues included:
  • Operating system problems
  • Modem problems
  • Internet Service Provider problems
  • Email application problems
  • Internet Explorer problems
  • Assistive Technology problems
  • Hardware upgrades
  • Software upgrades, installations and fixes
Outcomes achieved:
Independent use of home computers for the following:
  • Basic email practices
  • Common word processing practices
  • File management tools and practices
  • Some internet exposure
  • Increased independence in use of screen readers or magnification software
  • Increased independence and use of assistive technology such as Braille displays
Training was provided to 7 Deaf-Blind people in the Technology Training Center (TTC) lab for Independent Living (IL) related classes. These classes included the following topics:
  • Outlook usage
  • General computer introduction
  • PowerBraille 40
  • Keyboard
  • Email
  • Zoomtext
  • Braille practice
  • Magic
  • MS Word
  • Software comparisons
  • Hardware and assistive technology demos
Outcomes Achieved:
  • Basic email practices
  • Increased independence on word processing practices
  • Intro to file management tools and practices
  • Some internet exposure
  • Improve skills for database management
  • Opportunity to compare software and assistive technology products and select one that best matches their needs
  • Increased independence in use of screen reader and magnification software which enhances work skills as well as personal use skills
  • Improved Braille skills
Activity #3 Leadership Training

Provide 4-day leadership retreat in Seattle. Topics will include: facilitation skills in group meetings; setting up supportive communication environment, roles of Core Interpreter Team (CIT) interpreters, recruiting and retaining interpreter support

Videotaped presentation and participant evaluation

4 Deaf-Blind individuals from Texas, Kentucky and Virginia participated in an expanded leadership training May 11 ? May 17, 2002 in Seattle. Deaf-Blind leaders and others delivered presentations from the Seattle Deaf-Blind community. In addition to presentation, participants had opportunities to visit and observe situations and service models in the community, and to participate in group classes and activities. Participants from Texas are actively following up on training received and are in the process of planning to set up service models similar to ones they were exposed to in Seattle.

Participants received videotapes of the training, in addition to other materials. All participants completed evaluations.

Activity #4 Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat

Provide 2 weekend recreational/support event and volunteer training events

Number of weekend recreational Retreats provided

2 Weekend retreats were held last year. The first was a Winter Retreat in January close to Seattle and involved snow activities. 25 Deaf-Blind people and 38 volunteers participated. The second retreat was at a mountain resort in the North Cascades, and was attended by 27 Deaf-Blind people and 35 volunteers. Deaf-Blind individuals directed, planned and played key roles in the Retreat.

In addition to recreation activities, volunteers were able to build interpreting and related skills in a nurturing, healthy and supportive environment.


If you are interested in further information please contact
Mark Landreneau at

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