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Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind

PO Box 698 Talladega, AL 35161

Sybil Garrett, Coordinator of DeafBlind Programs

256-223-4008 cell/text; 256-203-0231 videophone

Service Area: Statewide

Program Established: 10/01/2018

Funding Sources:  State Appropriation

Eligibility:  Dual Sensory Loss (vision and hearing)

Number of Individuals Served: 105 individuals annually, approximately 8 individuals per week 

Preferred Terminology: SSP

Certification/Endorsement:  Training is provided but no certification or CEUs are available

Types of Service Requests:  SSP support to and from medical appointments, surgical procedures, pharmacy (after medical or surgical appointment), therapy (short-term), major public transportation (bus, train, and airport); social service agencies, AIDB functions/classes, community activities/classes, consumer organization conferences/workshops.

Training Requirements:  Providers are trained by staff who hold certification as SSPs and/or in the area of DeafBlindness. Consumer training is currently being developed. 

Program Coordination: Full-Time

Transportation:  SSPs are able to provide transportation for consumers using a vehicle from the agency motor pool or using their personal vehicle (reimbursed mileage).

SSP Pay Rate:  SSPs are paid at $26.00/hour including mileage reimbursement. 

Other: n/a


Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing

100 N. 15th Ave. Suite 104, Phoenix, AZ  85007

Carmen Green Smith, Deputy Director

620-542-3362 voice; 480-559-9441 videophone

Service Area: ARIZONA Statewide

Program Established: 2018

Funding Sources:  $192,000/yr from the Arizona legislature for SSP services

Eligibility: Arizona residents who are over 18 years old and meet the definition of “DeafBlind” as defined by the organization.

Number of Individuals Served: 20-25 individuals a month

Preferred Terminology:  SSP

Certification/Endorsement:  The agency is in negotiations with some independent contractors to offer SSP training.  It is our plan to offer CEUs with an annual training. 

Types of Service Requests: 20 hours/monthly of SSP services outside of the home such as grocery shopping, medical appointments, and community events and inside the home to assist with reading mail, identifying items, etc.

Training Requirements:  SSPs must complete the ACDHH SSP training or similar approved training

Program Coordination: Services are coordinated through a contracted vendor

Transportation:  transportation is provided through a contracted vendor

Other: The goal of this program is to provide DeafBlind persons with access to information that allows them to lead a self-determined life.    


Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) 

900 W. 7th Street, Little Rock, AR 72201

Cheryl Seymore, Rehabilitation Area Manager for Services f/t Deaf & Hard of Hearing

501-686-2800 voice 

Service Area: Central Arkansas

Program Established: The DeafBlind Program was established in 1989 through a grant.  It became a part of ARS in 1991.  The agency began providing SSP services in 1997.

Funding Sources: Arkansas Rehabilitation Services funds the program which pays for SSPs who work on contract with the state program.

Eligibility: allowed up to 10 hours/week; have an SSP plan with consumer goals identified.  Primary goals are socialization, independent living, and access to the community.

Number of Individuals Served: 30 individuals

Preferred Terminology: SSP

Certification/Endorsement:  The program does not have an SSP certification but does occasionally offer CEUs

Types of Service Requests: reading mail, shopping, errands (drug store), exercise classes, monthly social group, and occasionally weddings or funerals.

Training Requirements: Many of the SSPs attend classes at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, interpreting program; SSP workshops are also provided with collaboration with UALR interpreting instructors and local consumers; an annual training/workshop is provided to allow SSPs to brush up on their skills.  Anyone interested in becoming an SSP must first provide 100 volunteer hours working as a SSP before they are eligible to be paid. They must also maintain yearly CEU requirements.

Program Coordination: SSPs are contacted directly by the consumer to schedule their appointments. The ARS SSP program is run by its full time staff interpreters. Processing payments for working SSP’s is only one of their many responsibilities. 

Transportation:  SSPs do provide transportation but it is only for the purpose of getting to the place they will provide SSP services; they do not provide transportation services alone.  When transportation is the only need, options recommended include public transportation, local Deaf Uber drivers, or contact family, friends or someone willing to volunteer. 

SSP Pay Rate:  the rate of pay is between $15.00 and $38.00 per hour based on experience, interpreter credentials, and licensing.

Other: Arkansas has developed a SSP guidelines document



Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center (DHHSC)

5340 N. Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93710

Michelle Bronson, Executive Director

559-225-3323 voice; 559-478-2791 videophone

Service Area: an 8 county region in Central California

Program Established: The DeafBlind Services program was established in May, 2000, which includes the DeafBlind Support Group (DBSG).   This group continues to meet the second Wednesday of each month.

Funding Sources: The services provided specifically to the DeafBlind community include case management, SSP services, SSP training, and DBSG monthly socials.  The DeafBlind Services Program received a one-year, non-renewable grant from the Department of Rehabilitation in 2005 to provide paid SSP services.  The SSP program is currently operating on a volunteer basis.  SSPs are recruited from several sources: the Interpreter Training Program at California State University Fresno, Certified Deaf Interpreters, Community Interpreters, ASL students, and family members of those who are DeafBlind.  Tools used for recruitment include the DHHSC’s DeafBee on the website, DHHSC’s social media platforms, class presentations at the local colleges/universities, word-of-mouth, and annual workshops.

Eligibility: There are no set criteria but those receiving services.  Those who provide SSP services are required to participate in SSP trainings. 

Number of Individuals Served: average 5-10 individuals per month

Preferred Terminology:  SSP or CoNavigator

Certification/Endorsement:  Certificates of completion are provided after SSP/Co-Navigator trainings.

Types of Service Requests: Transportation, shopping, reading mail, making phone calls, exercising, travel out-of-town to DeafBlind events, computer assistance, independent living assistance, and assistance at recreational and social events.

Training Requirements: Training is provided for all people interested in working with the DeafBlind community including interpreters, ASL students, interpreting students, and family members.   Training occurs in a workshop format and topics include causes of DeafBlindness, safe guiding, etiquette, communication techniques and DeafBlind protocol.  

Program Coordination: The program is currently overseen by the Services Personnel Director of DHHSC.  The agency constantly searches for grant and fundraising opportunities in order to secure funds for services and activities related to the DeafBlind Services Program. 

Transportation:  SSPs can drive DeafBlind clients in their own vehicles but they must first sign a waiver with DHHSC.

SSP/CN Pay Rate: Program uses volunteers

Other:  Additional documentation is currently being developed to enhance services for the community. Interpreting services for DeafBlind individuals can be scheduled with Interpreting Services of Central California, a division of DHHSC –  Additionally, our agency has two Client Services Specialists who work with the DeafBlind:  Angelica Medina-Boersma at and Joshua Blanco at


DeafBlind Access

323 W. Second St., San Dimas, CA  91773

Dorene Holm, President/Director of Client Services

909-319-5216 voice/text

Service Areathe counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, & Orange

Funding Sources: We are currently unfunded, relying on individual donations. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and we are currently searching for a grant writer.

Eligibility: Must be Deaf or Hard of Hearing AND Blind or low-vision, 18 years and older

Number of Individuals Served: 26

Preferred Terminology:  Use both SSP and CN

Certification/Endorsement:  No certification is offered at this time

Types of Service Requests: It’s entirely up to the consumer, and includes shopping, hair appointments, doctor visits (CN only, no interpreting services provided) family events, parties, read and sorting mail and recipes, food labeling, Deaf social events, etc.

Training Requirements: SSP/CNs are either graduates from the College of the Canyons’ SSP/CN program or have received training through other organizations or the community.  Many of our SSP/CNs have worked in the DeafBlind community for many years and we allow for them to waive the formal training requirement with proof of competency as evidenced by the support of DeafBlind individuals as well as an assessment of their skills.  

Program Coordination: This is a new program and consist of four individuals who work part-time to bring these services to the DeafBlind community.

Transportation:   We try to have the SSP/CN meet consumers at the destination, but there are situations like doctor visits and grocery shopping where the consumer needs a ride.  Thus, some SSP/CoNavigators use their vehicles to drive, others use public transport or meet DeafBlind at the location.

Pay Rate:  The program relies on volunteers.

Other: We work closely with the DeafBlind community to provide a variety of social events and SSP/CN Services as needed. Currently each consumer receives 10 hours per month. As we continue to seek funding for these critical services, we have a network of hearing and deaf SSP/CNs who volunteer their time to work with DeafBlind Access.


Mind Your Language, Inc. (MYL)

811 Wilshire Boulevard, 9th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Lucas Soto, CEO

323-230-0599 voice; 818-237-9239 videophone

Service Area: Greater Los Angeles and neighboring cities

Program Established: January 2017

Funding Sources:  California Department of Rehabilitation 80%, Private donations 20%

Eligibility:  Participants must be clients of the California Department of Rehabilitation. Otherwise, we would need additional time to provide funding. However, we are not known for turning down consumers. 

Number of Individuals Served:  Over 30

Preferred Terminology: CoNavigator

Certification/Endorsement:  MYL doesn’t provide CEUs or certification.  We would provide a “DeafBlind CoNavigator Training” certificate of completion if individuals attend one of our workshops in its entirety. 

Types of Service Requests: Medical appointments, job interviews, errands related to employment, emergencies; and other activities require pre-approval

Training Requirements:  Sixty percent of our CoNavigators/SSPs have been trained by DeafBlind instructors.  If the CN has no formal training, a set of references from previous customers is required.  We are happy to adapt to the consumer’s level of training and would suggest any training we would see fitting.

SSPs/CoNavigators require three sets of references from DB consumers. We are happy to adapt to the consumer's level of training and would suggest any training we would see fitting. 

Program Coordination: Part Time

Transportation:  It depends on the funding source. Most likely it would be covered by state funding or donations.  If the DeafBlind consumer has an issue with the CN providing transportation, the CN can meet the client at a predefined destination.

SSP/CN Pay Rate:  The CN/SSP Rates are $50/hour.  Mileage is also charged at the current federal rate.  We only pay travel time if the provider has to drive over 30 minutes to arrive at the initial place of service, $30/hour.

Other: Mind Your Language has been hosting local DeafBlind Interpreting workshops annually.  We are planning to also host virtual CN training in 2024. 


Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind (CCDHHDB)

1575 Sherman Street, Garden Level, Denver, CO 80203

Vacant, DeafBlind Services Coordinator

720-457-3679 voice/videophone
Service AreaColorado Statewide
Program Established:  2017
Funding Sources:  State and government department funding
Number of Individuals Served: 34
Preferred Terminology:  SSP

Certification/Endorsement:  No certification or training CEUs are offered

Types of Service Requests: General. Reading mail, attending DB social events and task force meetings, shopping, doctor appointments, legislative meetings, etc.  Each consumer is allowed a certain number of hours per month, depending on their needs. Training Requirements:  SSPs must obtain external certification and/or 18 hours of mentoring requirements to become eligible to sign on as an independent contractor with the Commission. The Commission does not provide SSP training due to their independent contractor status as per state regulations.  HKNC continues to work with CCDHHDB and Colorado DeafBlind Advisory Council to identify a funding source to provide training until a national or state certification can be developed.
Program Coordination:  Program funding allows for a full-time coordinator, but this position is currently vacant.  A team works together to take care of all program needs.
Transportation:  Transportation is provided as part of the SSP’s duties.

SSP Pay Rate: SSPs are paid at $27.00 per hour, $34.50 after 7 pm (evening and weekends) and $42 on holidays. ($27/$34.50/$42).

Other:  Automotive liability insurance ($1,000,000 minimum) is mandatory if SSPs plan to drive consumers.   Professional liability insurance ($1,000,000 minimum) is also required for all SSPs. 


Communication Advocacy Network (CAN)        

151 New Park Ave, Suite 101, Box 83, Hartford, CT  06106

Susan V. Pedersen, Director

860-566-9490 videophone (for information); 860-566-9489 videophone (for director)

Service AreaConnecticut Statewide

Program Established:  August 2009

Funding Sources:  (state agency) Department of Rehabilitation Services with Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind; and some grants and fundraising events

Eligibility:  legally blind and deaf, including low vision.  New additional group requested by BESB is work in progress:  Blind and Hard of Hearing

Number of Individuals Served:  22

Preferred Terminology:  SSP (CN is new to many of the DeafBlind Community here)

Certification/Endorsement: yes, training CEUs are provided if training is done by the Helen Keller National Center and/or other certified trainers.

Types of Service Requests:  Support Service Providers (SSP), and deaf-blind services including monthly deaf-blind support group with guest speakers

Training Requirements:  Knowledge of ASL is preferred but not required; be familiar in the area of deaf-blind services; and to be able to work with hard of hearing deaf-blind consumers by using oral communication or other modes of communication.  

Program Coordination:  part-time SSP program coordination

Transportation:  Transportation is provided by SSPs.

SSP Pay Rate:  New SSPs (#1099 employees are paid $17.50/hr plus IRS mileage rates.  Veteran SSPs are paid $18-20/hr depending on college degrees plus IRS mileage rates. 

Other:  Deaf-Blind distribution program available provided by the Connecticut Tech Act Project,



Gallaudet University – Student Success & Academic Quality (SSAQ) CoNavigation Program

800 Florida Ave NE, College Hall 408, Washington, DC  20002

Jennifer Tuell, Accessibility Resource Coordinator 

Service Area:  Currently only providing for Gallaudet University’s sponsored events

Program Established:  January 2014 as an SSP program on campus; changed to CoNavigator program in 2022

Funding Sources:  Gallaudet University

Eligibility:  Services are only for current Gallaudet students, staff and faculty

Number of Individuals Served:  10 students

Preferred Terminology:  CoNavigator

Certification/Endorsement: none available currently.

Types of Service Requests:  Serving as a human guide for DeafBlind students by providing access on campus for traveling to and from class, dining, sporting events and other on-campus related activities.

Training Requirements:  orientation training and bi-monthly refresher training in specified areas

Program Coordination:  Part-Time

CN Pay Rate:  The program pays $15.00 - $20.00/hour. All assignments occur on campus so no travel reimbursement is needed. 


Also see Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind in MD who also serves the District of Columbia



Florida CoNavigators (FCN) run by Florida DeafBlind Association (FDBA)

332 Cypress Road, St. Augustine, FL  32086

Victoria Magliocchino, FCN Coordinator

904-325-5283 text only

Service Area: Florida Statewide

Program Established:  2012 (FSSP) 2019 (FCN)

Funding Sources: Self and Volunteer

Eligibility:  Persons who are DeafBlind

Number of Individuals Served: about 30 people

Preferred Terminology: CoNavigator (CN)

Certification/Endorsement:  We do not provide certification at this time.

Types of Service Requests: Attending events; shopping; banking; doctor visits; travel; cruise; job sites when needed or applicable; school/college; and any other services where DeafBlind individuals need CoNavigators.

Training Requirements: We do provide trainings to both sighted and DeafBlind individuals.  We usually train a team of sighted and DeafBlind CNs so they learn to work together as a team.

Program Coordination: part-time

Transportation:  CNs do provide transportation/drive in their cars.

CN Pay Rate:  Florida CNs are volunteers or are paid directly by the DeafBlind person. 

Other: n/a



Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GCDHH)

2296 Henderson Mill Road, NE #115, Atlanta, GA  30345

Ericka Capel, Employment Specialist

404-292-5312 voice; 404-381-8448 videophone

Service Area: Georgia Statewide – only if currently served by VR

Program Established: 2015

Funding Sources:  GVRA state funded for clients of VR working toward their vocational rehabilitation goals.

Eligibility:  VR clients with dual sensory loss

Number of Individuals Served: ~ 25 people per year.  GCDHH recently revised thee contract with GA VR to offer SSP services for Georgia VR clients only.  There are not SSP services available for non-VR DeafBlind clients at this time.   

Preferred Terminology: SSP

Certification/Endorsement:  Trainings are offered by regional DeafBlind organizations. CEUs are provided if the organizations provide it. 

Types of Service Requests: job interviews, on the job training, work experiences, informational interviews, job development

Training Requirements:  SSPs must be certified in Georgia through one of the DeafBlind organizations that provides training.  GCDHH has their process of screening and contracting with SSPs and new applicants go through the usual state of Georgia background check process.

Program Coordination: As needed

Transportation:  SSPs can provide transportation, facilitate communication at training or worksite, etc.  If the SSP is deaf, they will use an interpreter along with the SSP as needed.

SSP Pay Rate:  The SSP and travel time rate is $25/hour plus mileage based on the IRS mileage rate. 

Other:   n/a



Comprehensive Service Center (CSC) for People who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing or Deaf-Blind

1953 S. Beretania St., Suite 5A, Honolulu, HI  96826

Jennifer Tarnay, M.S., CCC-SLP, Co-PI

808-369-0499 voice/text; 808-447-2044 videophone

Roz Kia, CSC Project Coordinator

Service Area: Hawaii Statewide

Program Established: 2017

Funding Sources: State Appropriation in HI Department of Human Services/HI Division of Vocational Rehabilitation executive budget. CDS(CSC) funded via DVR Memorandum of Agreement/Request for Proposal SSP Project funded by CDS(CSC)/DVR Agreement.  Private donations also accepted.

Eligibility: 1) any consumer referred to the program as "Deaf-Blind" by a recognized agency, or 2) individual application with support documents (from a doctor, DOE, DVR, etc.) documenting both vision and hearing loss.

Number of Individuals Served: 21

Preferred Terminology:  SSP

Certification/Endorsement:  All new SSPs receive training but no certification or CEUs are provided at this time.

Types of Service Requests: transportation, shopping, reading mail, making phone calls, job search, independent living assistance, and assistance at recreational and social events.

Activities include: appointments, community involvement, legislative participation, meetings/events, errands, social interactions, etc.

Training Requirements: Multiple SSP/consumer training sessions have been conducted over the years. Recent O&M training to recruit more SSPs. SSP-related materials shared. Topics for additional training are being considered.

Program Coordination: UH-CDS(CSC)

Transportation:  SSPs are allowed but are not required to drive consumers. 

SSP Rate of Pay: The program has a pay scale ranging from $25 to $40 an hour, depending on the consumer's needs, the SSP's skills and the specific nature of the assignment.

Other: CDS(CSC) is a unit of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

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