CILCP’s DeafBlind Living Well Services (DBLWS) improves the quality of life for consumers who are deafblind (a combined hearing and vision loss) in Pennsylvania by providing access to information and the ability to achieve independence.
What is deafblindness?
A person who is deafblind is someone who experiences a dual sensory loss in both vision and hearing.
What is a Support Service Provider (SSP)?
A Support Service Provider is a DeafBlind Living Well Services independent contractor who supports Pennsylvanians who are deafblind by providing environmental information and acting as a guide and communication facilitator (but not as an interpreter or decision-maker).
With SSP services, people who are deafblind can lead an empowered, independent life in their work, family, and social activities.
CILCP DeafBlind Living Well Services are for individuals 18 and older who have completed high school, who live in the community, and who are able to manage an SSP. If you would like more information about DBLWS, please complete this form or contact Sharon Behun, Director of Program Development & Expansion/Supervisor of DBLWS at DBLWS@cilcp.org or by telephone at 717-731-1900 extension 224, or videophone 717-255-0069.
Request for More Information on CILCP DeafBlind Living Well Services:
Please complete this form in its entirety for more information on DBLWS. Any of our documents can be provided in an alternate format such as large print or Braille by contacting the CILCP office at 717-731-1900 extension 224, or videophone 717-255-0069.
DeafBlind Living Well Services for persons who have a combined hearing and vision loss include:
Support Service Provider Coordination
DBLWS matches Support Service Providers (SSPs) to consumers who are deafblind who need assistance in completing a variety of activities such as independent living, medical appointments, grocery shopping, training, and education, or social interactions with friends and family.
DBLWS conducts a face-to-face meeting with consumers who are deafblind to educate on the program and to help consumers identify activities an SSP would be useful to help with. DBLWS works one-on-one with each participant to help them become independent in requesting services, using services, and how to continue to advocate for their needs.
DBLWS also provides ongoing support coordination and training to consumers who are deafblind including, but not limited to, community resources, technology, communication methods, finding transportation options, and access to durable medical equipment.
Those registered through DBLWS are granted access to the SSP Registry of all qualified Support Service Providers who are trained and available to consumers who are deafblind.
Request to receive CILCP DeafBlind Living Well Services:
If you are interested in receiving DeafBlind Living Well Services, please complete this form in its entirety. Any of our documents can be provided in an alternate format such as large print or Braille by contacting the CILCP office at 717-731-1900 extension 224, or videophone 717-255-0069.
Support Service Provider (SSP) Training
DBLWS trains Support Service Providers (SSPs) to connect people who are deafblind to their environment by guiding them through buildings and offices, facilitating communication, and providing information about their physical surroundings.
An SSP can earn up to $15 per hour, and does not work in the capacity of a personal care attendant or caregiver. SSP’s do not make decisions for consumers, but provide environmental information, sighted guide services and information that the individual who is deafblind can use to make their own informed decisions.
SSP’s provide services that allow persons who are deafblind to run errands, make purchases, read mail, and perform everyday tasks.
SSP’s are not employees of DBLWS. They are paid, independent contractors who commit to provide SSP services to an individual who is deafblind on a regular monthly schedule. Individuals who are deafblind, who qualify for SSP services, are allocated a set number of hours each month for SSP services.
An SSP must be able to travel independently, must be over the age of 18 years old, must be able to use a computer, email, text messaging, printer, the internet; and pass a background check. Anyone interested in being trained to become an SSP, please complete the form below to have your name put on the training list.
Persons who would like to become SSPs may have their information placed on the waiting list for future trainings. Putting your name on the waiting list does not guarantee that you will be selected for the training. Persons who have their name on the waiting list, will be notified of news about trainings before the public. If your name has been put on the waiting list, you MUST still complete a full application to be considered.
Request to be trained as a SSP:
Please complete this form in its entirety to have your name placed on the training list. Any of our documents can be provided in an alternate format such as large print or Braille by contacting the CILCP office at 717-731-1900.
PLEASE NOTE: Completing this short form is not an application for SSP training. This form only places your name on our waiting list. The full form is below (under “Application to be a SSP”). You must fill out the full form to be considered for the SSP training.
Training and Service Coordination for Organizations
DeafBlind Living Well Services coordinates SSPs to facilitate information during medical appointments, business meetings, professional events, and any other setting. SSPs ensure that all parties will have a positive experience by creating smooth and efficient communication and providing individuals who are deafblind with enough information to make an informed decision.
In addition, DeafBlind Living Well Services will host trainings tailored to meet your corporate/organizational needs. DBLW trainings introduce staff/employees to deafblindness, SSPs and communications strategies for making appointments and interactions as comfortable as possible for all involved. Trainings are available in-person or via webinar.
DeafBlind Living Well Resources:
- DBLWS Consumer Handbook
Download Handbook as Word
Download Handbook as PDF
- Quick Start Guide for Consumers
Download Guide as Word
Download Guide as PDF
- DBLWS White Paper
Download White Paper as PDF
- Application to be a SSP
Download Application to be an SSP as Word
Download Application to be an SSP as PDF
- Application for SSP services
Download SSP Services Application as Word
Download SSP Services Application as PDF
- DBLW Info Sheet
Download Info Sheet as PDF
- Support Service Provider Services in Pennsylvania: An Historical Account
Download Historical Account as PDF
DeafBlind Community Calendar
Check out these events and activities for persons who are deafblind.
The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
- FREE communications technology for Pennsylvanians with both hearing and vision loss.
- Connect with family, friends and community FOR FREE!
iCanConnect in Pennsylvania will:
- Meet with you to select the right communications technology
- Order communications technology that best meets your needs
- Train you to use the communications technology
TO BE ELIGIBLE YOU MUST:
- Have combined hearing and vision loss (deaf-blind)
- Have a household income at 400% of Federal Poverty Guidelines or less
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND APPLICATION:
FOR INFORMATION OR TO REQUEST AN APPLICATION IN THE MAIL:
- Voice: 800-204-7428 TTY: 866-268-0579
- Email: iCanConnectPA@temple.edu
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University College of Education is the certifying entity in Pennsylvania. For more information on the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program: www.icanconnect.org
- The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
- Institute on Disabilities at Temple University College of Education
1755 N. 13th Street
Student Center Room 411 S
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122
The SSP Directory is a database of all Support Service Providers. Individuals who use SSP services may access this registry to be introduced to the various SSPs in our state. If you have any questions, or would like access to the SSP directory, contact Marsha Drenth at 717-731-1900 ext. 210 (v/tty) or by email at: DBLWS@cilcp.org