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CSCDHH GA Newsletter - July 1997 Issue

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NOTE: This is an abbreviated version of the CSCDHH GA Newsletter. Articles not included have the article title in Italics. To get the full text of the newsletter, become a member of CSCDHH. Thank you!!


Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1609 19th Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122-2848
(206) 322-4996 V/TTY
(206) 720-3251 FAX

Interpreter Referral Service (206) 322-5551 V/TTY

CSCDHH Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri - 8:30am - 5:00pm; Wednesday - 11:00am - 7:30pm

CSCDHH GA
July 1997
1997 - Issue #7

 

Life at the Front Desk by Rebekka Berger

Greetings from the front desk here at CSCDHH. My name is Rebekka Berger. I am the Information & Referral Specialist who tries to answer every phone call and every question we get. If I had six arms, thirteen hands, five more ears, and maybe four more sets of eyes, I think I could get every call, and you would never get stuck with the answering machine again. Alas, if I had that many extra fingers, ears, and eyes, I would be in a zoo, and probably would not be allowed to sit at the front desk again. Sob, sob.

I have worked at CSCDHH since August 1996. I am new to Seattle. I moved here in January 1996 from Anchorage, Alaska. Currently, I am an ASL student; I recently completed ASL level 9. Because I am new to the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing communities here, I have often depended on other people to help me learn my job. I would like to give a big cheer for a few of the people who have answered many questions for me and made my job of providing accurate information much easier: David Cremeens who used to work in my position; the folks at PIP whom I call regularly - Karen, Jamee, Kati, and Lori; Mildred Johnson who answers all my library questions; Jean Healy who coordinates our SSP needs and much more, and a special thanks you to Carla McAlister, an ASL student who has been coming to CSCDHH one day every week since November as a volunteer to help me at the front desk. Kudos to all! THANK YOU!!!

What is Information & Referral at CSCDHH? Have you wondered where you can get a hearing dog? Do you wish someone could come to your work to explain about Deaf culture or hard of hearing needs because communicating with co-workers is sometimes hard? Do you have hearing friends or family who want to learn ASL and need to find a good teacher or tutor? Can you use the Laurent Clerc Hall (the large meeting room at CSCDHH) for free? Is there a therapist who can sign? What is the phone number for the National Captioning Institute? Which schools in the Seattle area offer programs for deaf and hard of hearing children? Are there other centers for Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing people in Washington?

Information & Referral means providing answers to these questions and many, many more. Each day CSCDHH receives 30 to 40 phone calls as well as 10 to 20 people who come in with questions. Sometimes I have to be very patient with questions such as: "I am a social worker and a 'deaf-mute' came into my office this morning. I can't communicate with him. What do I do?" "What is a TTY?" Sometimes the questions are extremely complex: "I lost most of my hearing two months ago. This is the first time I've been out of my house. I'm really scared. Can you help me?" "All doctors have to provide interpreters, right?" Sometimes the questions are fun: "I loved the last Silent Games. When's the next one?" "Deaf photographers all over the country will be taking pictures today of other deaf people. May I come to CSCDHH and take pictures of the deaf staff?"

Sometimes when people come to CSCDHH, they are in crisis; they are very upset and need someone to listen to them. Sometimes people call and tell me a joke and make me laugh. If you call and get the answering machine, it is probably because I am on another phone or talking with someone who came in. I do my best to answer all of your calls and questions. If I cannot give you an answer right away, I will try to find the answer, or I will refer you to someone who knows. Even though I do not have six arms, thirteen hands, nor eight eyes to help me do my job, I am glad I am at the front desk at CSCDHH and not in a zoo.

 

You Gotta Love Those Guys!

Cheer when Randy Johnson strikes out a batter! Shout when Edgar Martinez catches the fly ball! Scream when Ken Griffey Jr. hits a home run!

It's time once again for CSCDHH Night with the Mariners when they play against the Milwaukee Brewers Monday night, August 11th at 7:05pm. Last year we had over 100 fans. This year, who knows? Maybe we'll have 200 fans and friends. So, come and support CSCDHH and the Mariners. Tickets are $8.00 and $6.00 for children. Tickets are available at CSCDHH until July 25th. Buy your tickets early because they go fast!

Go Mariners! Beat Milwaukee!

 

Correction

The May issue of GA Newsletter was edited by Laurette Lajoie and Branden Huxtable.

 

Letter from the Director
Rob Roth
July 1997

Our Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Moyak-Zielske, has left her job due to illness in her family. We thank her for the all too short time she spent here at CSCDHH and wish her and her family the best. Although we advertised the Executive Assistant position last month, we took a good, hard look at the positions at CSCDHH and how we can best take advantage of restructuring opportunities. I'm pleased to announce that Tom Halseth will take on the responsibilities of Executive Assistant in addition to his current direct service responsibilities as Community Advocate.

The responsibilities for community educational presentations (to businesses, agencies and community groups) will be merged into the Volunteer Coordinator position, for a new full-time position of Community Education and Volunteer Coordinator. In addition, we are posting the permanent position for the Interpreter Referral Service Coordinator. Both positions have a deadline of September 19, 1997. Please call Rebekka at 206/322-4996 V/TTY for job descriptions.

Beginning August 1, 1997, the Interpreter Referral Service (IRS) will begin charging a fee for matching interpreters to requests for interpreting services.

This is the result of a long process that involved many people in helping IRS and CSCDHH in determining the right amount to charge for referral fees. An Interpreter Referral Service Advisory Committee (IRSAC) was established to review the IRS program and address issues of 1) service quality and 2) charging a fee for service. This process included informing the public via articles from this newsletter, updates provided to interpreters, and information at the Annual Meeting. Many of you participated in Community Forums last year, when we asked 1) what do you feel is working well with IRS?, 2) what do you feel is not working well with IRS?, 3) what services do you want from IRS?, and 4) what are ways to earn revenue to support the IRS program.

IRSAC, met almost every two weeks, studied the feedback from the community forums, and gathered information from a variety of sources. These resulted in a list of service quality recommendations that were presented to and accepted by the Board of Trustees in February, 1997. Then, IRSAC focused on the issue of fee for service. They knew that this was a tremendous responsibility and took their charge seriously. They reviewed information, budgets, and various methods of charging referral service fees. Finally, IRSAC made their recommendations to the Executive Committee on June 5.

Following the Executive Committee meeting, community forums were scheduled on June 15 and 16 to get feedback from deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people (consumers), agencies and businesses, and interpreters. 51 persons listened to presentations given by Judie Husted, Interpreter Referral Service Coordinator, and Estie Provow and Larry Petersen of IRSAC. After the presentations, feedback and suggestions were provided. (Each forum had at least one comment that "fee for service" was long overdue; it seemed almost unanimous that a fee for service was necessary and supported.) All feedback was written up and presented to IRSAC, which met on June 18. The final recommendations were presented to and accepted by the Board of Trustees on June 19. Fees for interpreter referral services will begin on August 1, 1997.

"Why a fee for service?" In order to improve the IRS and the quality of service, we need additional funds to hire staff, develop software, and upgrade and purchase equipment. Additionally, with predicted changes in United Way and reductions in government funding, we must look for ways to make our services and programs as self-supporting as possible. How do we answer the question from our funders, "Why should we fund interpreting services when ADA requires that businesses, services and programs be accessible?" Using program funds to support interpreting services takes away funds that can be used in other programs.

"What are the fees?" There are three categories where IRS will charge a fee.

+ For businesses and agencies, there will be a charge of $10 an hour when the request is given to IRS with more then 48 hours notice; when less than 48 hours notice is given, the fee will be $20 an hour. Non-profit agencies will receive a ____ discount. Jobs lasting more than four hours will have a "cap". Deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing consumers who are members of CSCDHH will benefit from a reduction in the referral fee of ____.
+ In emergency situations, such as hospitals, where pagers are used, there are no changes in the fees. Currently, they are $35 an hour for the first three hours, $32 an hour for the 4th and 5th hours, and no charge for the 6th and following hours.
+ Interpreters will be assessed a fee of 5% of their monthly billings (all jobs referred through IRS will be billed by IRS; interpreters will send their bills to IRS and businesses will pay one bill from IRS). For an interpreter charging $35 an hour, this becomes $1.75 an hour.

"IRS will be receiving more money. What will be done with the money?" Staffing will be increased by 2.125 full-time equivalents (FTE). This includes an additional .5 for an interpreter referral specialist, a full-time office assistant, and an additional .25 for the Community Advocate for education and training purposes. Also, a part-time intern will be hired each quarter. The office assistant and intern will provide coverage in the office to answer the phones and do data input. Referral specialists will be able to focus on doing referrals. Software is currently being developed that will speed up the referral and billing processes. Instead of several bills, businesses and agencies will benefit from having one monthly bill. Interpreters will benefit from a reduction in payment turnaround time, as well as being informed of unbilled referrals. Requests by fax will be an option; requests by e-mail is a future goal.

"How will we know if the service will improve?" IRSAC also recommends that a review and evaluation of all IRS programs and services be held at three and six month intervals for 1) service effectiveness, 2) improvements where needed, and 3) (if revenues do not meet projections) closure of IRS.

I hope that you will support IRS and the "fee for service". It is important to maintain a community-based interpreter referral service that provides appropriate matching of interpreters to consumers. We pledge that we will do our best to improve IRS and make it a service that the community can be proud of.

Lastly, I want to thank all the members of the IRSAC, past and present, for their hard work and dedication to their difficult task.

 

New Fees for Interpreter Referral Service
by Sandy Green, IRSAC Chair

Beginning August 1, 1997, the Interpreter Referral Service (IRS) will begin charging a fee for matching interpreters to requests for interpreting services.

This is the result of a long process that involved many people in helping IRS and CSCDHH in determining the right amount to charge for referral fees. An Interpreter Referral Service Advisory Committee (IRSAC) was established to review the IRS program and address issues of 1) service quality and 2) charging a fee for service. This process included informing the public via articles from this newsletter, updates provided to interpreters, and information at the Annual Meeting. Many of you participated in Community Forums last year, when we asked 1) what do you feel is working well with IRS?, 2) what do you feel is not working well with IRS?, 3) what services do you want from IRS?, and 4) what are ways to earn revenue to support the IRS program.

IRSAC met almost every two weeks, studied the feedback from the community forums, and gathered information from a variety of sources. This resulted in a list of service quality recommendations that were presented to and accepted by the Board of Trustees in February, 1997. Then, IRSAC focused on the issue of fee for service. We knew that this was a tremendous responsibility and took our charge very seriously. We reviewed information, budgets, and various methods of charging referral service fees. Finally, IRSAC made their recommendations to the Executive Committee on June 5.

Following the Executive Committee meeting, community forums were scheduled on June 15 and 16 to get feedback from deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people (consumers), agencies and businesses, and interpreters. 51 persons listened to presentations given by Judie Husted, Interpreter Referral Service Coordinator, and Estie Provow and Larry Petersen of IRSAC. After the presentations, feedback and suggestions were provided. (Each forum had at least one comment that "fee for service" was long overdue; it seemed almost unanimous that a fee for service was necessary and supported.) All feedback was written up and presented to IRSAC, which met on June 18. Feedback from the forums were discussed and changes were made to the proposal. The final recommendations were presented to and accepted by the Board of Trustees on June 19. Fees for interpreter referral services will begin on August 1, 1997.

"Why a fee for service?" In order to improve the IRS and the quality of service, we need additional funds to hire staff, develop software, and upgrade and purchase equipment..

"What are the fees?"

	Examples:	1 hour request with 1 interpreter = $10 + interpreter's fee
			3 hours request with 2 interpreters = $30 + interpreters'
				fees
			3 hours request with 4 interpreters (2 platform,  2 tactile) =
				$60 + interpreters' fees.
When less than 48 hours notice is given, the fee will be $20 an hour. 

 

"IRS will be receiving more money. What will be done with the money?" Staffing will be almost doubled. This includes an additional .5 for an interpreter referral specialist, a full-time office assistant, and an additional .25 for the Community Advocate for education and training purposes. Also, a part-time intern will be hired each quarter. The office assistant and intern will provide coverage in the office to answer the phones and do data input. Referral specialists will be able to focus on doing referrals. Software is currently being developed that will speed up the referral and billing processes. Instead of several bills, businesses and agencies will benefit from having one monthly bill. Interpreters will benefit from a reduction in payment turnaround time, as well as being informed of unbilled referrals. Requests by fax will be an option; requests by e-mail is a future goal.

"How will we know if the service will improve?" IRSAC also recommends that a review and evaluation of all IRS programs and services be held at three and six month intervals for 1) service effectiveness, 2) improvements where needed, and 3) (if revenues do not meet projections) closure of IRS.

I am very proud of the job we have done and want to thank the members of the IRSAC committee. Each of them has given so much of themselves, in time, energy and experience. I also want to thank Judie Husted and Rob Roth for their hard work assisting us. I couldn't have worked with a better group of people. Thank you!

 

IRSAC INFORMATIONAL FORUMS

On Sunday and Monday, June 15th & 16th, informational forums were held at CSCDHH to inform interpreters, businesses, and deaf/deaf-blind/hard of hearing community members about proposed fees for service for interpreter referrals.

The Interpreter Referral Service Advisory Committee wishes to apologize to all individuals and groups for late notification of the meeting dates and times. Notifications were ready for mailing on Tuesday, June 10th, and were mailed at bulk rate to save money. Unfortunately, bulk mail is very slow, which resulted in many people not receiving their announcements until the day of the informational forums or afterwards.

Feedback was received from 26 individuals, representing interpreters, businesses and consumers, for which we are grateful. The feedback was analyzed by IRSAC and incorporated in the final recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Again, we apologize to those that were unable to participate.

 

Future Plans for the Seattle Children's Theatre

The annual Deaf Youth Summer Theatre production Playing Seriously by Deaf playwright Willy Conley has been cancelled. "The funding just wasn't there this year," said Billy Seago, director of the Deaf Youth Drama Program at Seattle Children's Theatre. "But that does not mean the program is closed. Actually, it means the opposite. 'The show must go on!'"

The Deaf Youth Drama Program continues offering classes and residencies for Deaf students to learn about theatre. This summer, the Drama School offers three classes for younger students: for kindergarten to first grade, July 7 to 11 (cost $115); for second to third grade, July 14 to 18 (cost $115); for fourth to seventh grade, July 21 to 25 (cost $125). All classes are from 10am to 12:30pm. Students may be Deaf or hearing, but fluent in sign language. No interpreters provided. For more information, call (206) 443-0807 (V).

Also, for Deaf and hearing students age 14 to 22, the Deaf Youth Drama Program offers four weeks of classes ending with two showcase performances in the Eve Alvord Theatre August 1st and 2nd. Classes are July 7th to August 1st weekdays 9:30am to 12:30pm (cost $345). For more information, call (206)728-1638 (TTY) or (206) 443-0807 ext. 143 (V).

 

Beyond Silence: German Movie on Deafness

Beyond Silence, a German movie, has finally came to America in various film festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival. The film is about Lara (Sylvie Testud, Tatjana Trieb (as a child)), a hearing girl with Deaf parents (Howie Seago, Emmanuelle Laborit), who receives a clarinet from her aunt (Sibylle Cannoica) and discovers that she has musical talent. Unfortunately, this upsets her father, not only because of bad memories, but also because he is afraid his daughter might become more distant from him.

The first part of the movie is the most interesting. The movie does a wonderful job presenting various conflicts, sometimes sad and sometimes funny, between the hearing and Deaf worlds, especially between Lara and her father. They try to accommodate each other, but the frustration is always there and threatens to tear them apart. Howie, Sylvie and Tatjana all work very well together, sharing a common, but fragile, bond. We can understand the father's fear of losing Lara to the world he cannot join and likewise, we understand Lara's desire to become the person she wants to be.

However, the second half of the movie almost drops this. Instead, it becomes just an ordinary movie about Lara trying to enter a top music school in Berlin. Also, the whole romantic plot with Deaf-school teacher Tom (Hansa Czypionka) can be removed without great loss.

I recommend the movie for showing the relationship and conflicts between a hearing daughter and her Deaf father that unfortunately did not continue throughout the movie.

 

WA Relay Public Hearing

The Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (ODHHS) and the Telecommunications Access Service (TAS) want to hear from all Washington Telecommunication Relay users.

The Department of Social and Health Services' (DSHS) contract with AT&T will expire on June 27, 1998. ODHHS/TAS is preparing a new "Request for Proposal" (RFP) which will be sent to all long distance phone companies in the fall of 1997.

The public hearings are for you to come and give us your feedback, comments and complaints. Please attend one of the following hearings:

Date Location Time
July 11, 1997 Benton County ODU Kennewick 6 to 8 pm
July 12, 1997 CWSCDHH Yakima 10 am to noon
July 26, 1997 EWSCDHH Spokane 10 am to noon
July 30, 1997 TACID Tacoma 6 to 8 pm
July 31, 1997 Lacey Community Center, Lacey 6 to 8 pm
August 22, 1997 Bellingham (place to be announced) 6 to 8 pm
August 23, 1997 CSCDHH Seattle 9 to 11 am

Sign language interpreters and an audio loop system will be provided. Real time captioners will be provided where available. If other accommodations are needed (i.e., tactile or oral interpreters), please call (360) 753-0699 (TTY) or (360) 902-8000 (V) at least three weeks prior to the date of the hearing you want to attend.

 

CSCDHH Upcoming Events

What's Happening and About Town

 

Lynnwood Parks & Recreation Department will post staff openings in mid-August for signers interested in the after school program called the Fun Centers during the 1997-98 school year. For more information about staff positions please contact Wendy Hough, Youth Programs Supervisor at (425) 670-8311.

Job Announcement: Seeking energetic, socially active case aide to work with a pleasant, 23 year old Deaf male, new to Seattle area, to provide bus training, minimal ILS support, and social outings - particularly to Deaf community events/activities. Temporary position, 20 hours per month. Contact Cindy Johns at Seattle Mental Health, (206) 860-5645 (V/TTY).

Yosemite National Park has sign language interpreters available this summer. Call (209) 372-4726 (TTY) or (209) 372-0599 (V/TTY), or e-mail sarina_lambert@nps.gov for more information.

A Deaf woman, 22, from Sweden wants to work as an "au pair" or nanny to a family with Deaf children, beginning August 1997. Contact Rebekka at (206) 322-4996 (V/TTY) for more information, or write to Christina Jenssen, Värmlandsg.54, 681 32 Kristinehamn, Sweden, or fax her at +46 550 81409.

Very Special Arts Washington is seeking artists with disabilities to show their work in a No Boundaries '97/'98 Exhibition. Submissions must be made no later than August 20th. For more information, call (206) 443-1843 (V) or (206) 213-0023 (V).

Volunteer Needed: Deaf-blind man needs a volunteer interpreter by July 31st for the England-Seattle Deaf-Blind Exchange Committee which meets for an hour and a half evenings once a month in downtown Seattle. Possible free trip to England in 1999. Interpreting skills and familiarity with Deaf-blind culture needed. For more information, contact Stephen Ehrlich at (206) 282-5692 or e-mail ehrlich@scn.org.

Classified

Apartment for rent. Two bedrooms. Upstairs with Lake Washington view. Bellevue. $850 per month. Call (425) 635-0565 (TTY) after 5:30pm.

Needs home: A cute, white, Deaf, kitty needs a good home. If interested, please call Susan at (206) 562-2918 (V).

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