Deaf and Hard of Hearing
At some time in your career at DCF, you may have the opportunity to work with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing parent or child. There are specific laws and general guidelines that should be adhered to when working with this population.
“Deaf and hard of hearing people are entitled to effective communication with state and local government agencies. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ŠŠ12131-12134, forbids discrimination by any public entity.”
Brochure (prepared specifically for the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families.)
- All DCF offices have a TTY available. The keyboard is similar to a standard computer keyboard. There is TTY etiquette you need to follow. Type “GA”, which means go ahead, at the end of your sentence to inform the other person it is their turn. Also watch for “GA” which means it is your turn to talk. Type “SK” to end the conversation.
- Call 711 for relay services. Tell the 711 operator the number you wish to call. The relay operator will dial it and then communicate using a TTY with the individual. Remember to use “go ahead” and “SK” just as you would with using a TTY. Please speak directly to the individual, not the operator.
- Some individuals use video relay. They utilize a computer equipped with a video camera and use sign language to communicate with an interpreter instead of a TTY. Not many have access to this, but if they do, it is very helpful for an individual with limited English who is not able to communicate with a TTY.
- Request a certified interpreter through CDHI or FSW. (numbers listed on back)
- Always try to obtain the individuals preferred mode of communication prior to scheduling the interpreter. Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals can use a variety of communication to include (ASL – American Sign Language, Oral – lip reads and uses voice, PSE- Pidgin Signed English, Signed English, MLS – Minimal Language Skills or Gestural) If you cannot determine their preferred mode of communication, then ask the individual when the interpreter is present.
- Try to schedule interpreting services two weeks in advance. A suggestion is to plan your home visits (even unannounced) a month at a time to ensure the availability of interpreter services for your home visits. Interpreter services are available on an emergency basis.
- There are different types of interpreters for different uses. Interpreters are certified nationally at different skill levels (medical, legal). Some situations may require the use of more than one interpreter to ensure effective communication between all parties.
Language of Child and Family, services provided in, 21-3
Best Practice Guide: Preferred Languages (Delivery of Service in a Client's Preferred Method of Communication)
CART: Communication Access Real Time Translation
NAD: National Association of the Deaf
RID: Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
NTECU: National Training, Evaluation & Certification Unit
VRI: Video Remote Interpreting
The American School for the Deaf: (Source Interpreting)
139 North Main Street
West Hartford, CT 06107
Contact: Jeff Bravin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maeve Gavigan: Maeve.Gavigan@asd-1817.org
Patricia Clark: email@example.com
Bilingual Professional Agency, INC
1663 East 17th Street
Brooklyn New York, 11229
Contact: Suzanne Hersher: firstname.lastname@example.org
#: 718-382-2020x 313
CoSign CT, LLC
34 Shelley Road
Middletown, CT 06457
Contact: Leslie Warren: email@example.com
11199 Sorrento valley Rd Suite 203
San Diego, CA
Contact: Shamus Sayed
Northwest Interpreters, INC (NWI GLobal)
12500 SE 2nd Circle, Suite 140
Vancouver, WA 98684
Contact: Vic Marcus
Voiance Language Services, LLC
5780 North Swan Road
Tuscon, AZ 85718
Contact: Bill Martin: bmartin@ cyracom.com
Life Bridge (Formerly FSW)
475 Clinton Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
Toll free and emergency: 888-676-8554
Link to Life Bridge Interpreter Request form: http://www.lifebridgect.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Sign-Language-Interpreter-Req-Form.pdf
Contact: Monica Rams, MS (she, her, hers)
CT Department of Children and Families
Director, Multicultural Affairs
505 Hudson Street, Hartford, Connecticut 06106