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April 2020

AADB wrote an open letter in response to the rise of the COVID-19 Pandemic to help DeafBlind and Healthcare Professionals be more prepare if being admitted into the hospital.

American Association of the DeafBlind prepares guidelines toward healthcare agencies, institutions and DeafBlind citizens in the United States. AADB seeks a rapport between DeafBlind and Medical staffers in time of urgent needs of equal access of communication. In this tremendous hard times, a minority group of DeafBlind people are left to face even more hardship due to their nature in communicative methods and touch. As many healthcare officials in varying states have stated, most hospitals nationwide are experiencing overload in number of patients and are feverishly swamped more than at any normal rate. This results their inability to prioritize the adequate needs for a DeafBlind visitor/patient.
Hospitals are now upping their restrictions by allowing patients only at the hospital. Their companion cannot attend the facility with the patient. This causes an underlying and dramatically impacting dilemma for the DeafBlind. The DeafBlind often requires an in-person interpreter, CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter) and/or SSP (Support Service Provider) to facilitate. This helps the DeafBlind make well-informed medical decisions on their own. When DeafBlind is admitted in the surging pandemic may be forced to be unattended without a person such as family member or interpreters to be by their side. This spells out what being left in the dark really means. AADB urges medical staffers to take heed of the DeafBlind Accessible tools and tactics for a much more directive approach albeit any interpreters present.
In respect, AADB delivers potential tactics and better preparations for DeafBlind citizens that were collectively provided by our partners: TDI, NAD, HKNC and NFB. Please share with statewide agencies serving the DB citizens and communities so they can take better action on their behalf. Included in this letter are recommendations of tools and methods to encourage healthcare officials to share with medical staffers and DeafBlind. These recommendations collaboratively prepare for applications and communicative tools if the hospitals receive DeafBlind patients.
The very first step for any medical staffer upon the arrival of a DB /patient is to:
Ask the patient what methods of communication he or she prefers. It can range from having access to an in-person sign language interpreter whom Interprets ASL and Tactile, ProTactile or any other preferred “touch” or "visual" languages. It can include if the patient can rely on using virtual interpreting (VRI), lip-reading, written communications, Print on Palm tracing, hand-held amplification devices, captioning or CART, or speech-to-text apps.
In is situation, AADB urges the DeafBlind patient to apply all possible tactics for full communication if no interpreters available.
· Use smartphone and have them text to you.
· If your visual capabilities allows it, have them set up VRI
· If VRI is not possible for the DeafBlind, the interpreter must be hired and in presence in protective gear such as mask, gloves, full surgeon scrubs to ensure proper tactile communications and safety for both interpreter and patient.
· When the DeafBlind is left without any interpreter in presence, medical staffers can apply Print-On-Palm tactics, where ABC’s are traced on a hand.
Most doctors and nurses in hospitals now wear masks and gloves and may talk to you from behind a window or curtain, so it may be harder for DeafBlind to understand the professional. As a DeafBlind, they have a right to decide their care. This means they will need to know a few things and bring their own communication tools to the hospital during the pandemic.
Medical Staffers can encourage family members and DeafBlind to prepare the following:
· Print out a page saying you are deaf, hard of hearing, or DeafBlind and need hospital staff to communicate with you differently. A sample page (placard) is below.
· If you have a smartphone, load the apps you need to communicate, and bring your smartphone with you.
· Before you go to the hospital, download several VRI apps and/or speech-to-text apps. Some of those apps are free.
· Have markers that are bold and black.
· Take the time to pack an emergency bag, label with your name and address. FOLLOW essentials for the communication needs below:
o Batteries for hearing aides or cochlear implants
o Pack extra chargers and extension cords or power strips for smartphone, tablets, Braille displays and other communication tools
o Printed and labeled Communication cards that have your doctor's information, family contact info, your medical insurance info as well as medical history such as what medication or treatments you receive or have been receiving.
o Include a separate communication cards to explain what you are experiencing such as: Difficult breathing, coughing, fever, aches, weakness, flu-like symptoms. Be sure to add what other conditions that associate with your medical history such as: heart, diabetes, eye conditions, etc.
· APPS to DOWNLOAD
These are useful tools medical staffers and DeafBlind to establish communication solutions. It is recommended to test the app before any hospital visitations or admittances. A list of some apps can be found on this URL: https://www.iaccessibility.com/apps/deaf-blind/

According to Hearingloss.org, it advises For DeafBlind people to bring their Braille device and charger and extra gloves for an interpreter. It is important to note if the hospital staff refuses to talk with you or respect your wishes, demand an “ethics consultation.” You can also contact [email protected] for help.
It is really important to use text messages as a lifeline with doctors and medical staff if no other communication is available.
The DeafBlind cannot be left alone in silence or touch in this dark crisis. AADB adamantly encourage hospital caretakers, staffers, and officials to bring their DeafBlind patients to light and back to good health every possible way they can. With these aforementioned advised tips and tactics, AADB hopes with your time you can share with your local hospitals and medical facilities ways to better serve our nation's DeafBlind citizens of America.


Sincerely Yours,
American Association of the DeafBlind


2019

Thank you everyone for signing the petition to the FCC in regard to Sprint IP-Relay.

Click on the following link to view the Docket.

CG Docket No. 03-123 / No. 10-51


April 2019

Here is a copy of AADB Minutes from 2018. Please Click on the following link. 

-AADB Minutes 2018


April 2019 

AADB Supports the Texas Support Service Coalition. We have written a letter to the Texas Capital showing our support. To view the letter please  click on the following Link. -

TexasSSP Support


March 27, 2018

AADB wrote a letter to the California Assemblyman Tom Lackey, 36th District in support of Assembly Bill 1865 in support of service Dogs in the State of California. 

American Association of the DeafBlind

February 28, 2018

Assemblyman Tom Lackey, 36th District

State Capitol, Room 2174

Sacramento, CA 94249-0055

RE: Support AB 1865

Dear, Assemblyman Lackey:

American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB) is a national consumer organization of, by, and for DeafBlind Americans and their supporters. “DrsfBlind” includes all types and degrees of dual vision and hearing loss. Our membership consists of DeafBlind people from diverse backgrounds, as well as family members, professionals, interpreters, and other interested supporters

AADB greatly appreciates your sponsorship of Assembly Bill 1865, as a means of enhancing protections governing dog attacks against guide, signal, and service dogs.

Under existing law, it is an infraction or a misdemeanor for any person to permit any dog which is owned, harbored, or controlled by him or her to cause injury to or death of any guide, signal, or service dog while the guide, signal, or service dog is in discharge of its duties, or actively providing service. However, these attaches often occur while the dog is not engaged in these duties. Under these circumstances, it is very difficult for guide, signal, or service dog handlers to recover potential costs incurred because of these attacks, such as medical expenses or loss of wages.

This bill will expand the provisions which provide protection for guide, signal, or service dogs by eliminating the requirement that the guide, dog, or service dog be in discharge of its duties.

This bill will greatly assist persons of the blind or disabled communities cope with the detrimental financial and personal costs associated with attacks against his or her guide, signal, or service dogs.

Your support and sponsorship of this important legislation is appreciated as it will extend protections for communities that are often ignored. Please accept this letter as support for AB 1865: “Guide, Signal, and Service Dog: Injury or Death.”

Respectfully,

Jenee Alleman, AADB President

Cc:                        Assembly Member Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr., Chair

                              Assembly Committee on Public Safety

                              Assembly Member Tom Lackey, Vice Chair

                              Assembly Committee on Public Safety


February 13, 2018

Interested in going to a DeafBlind Retreat in 2018? Check on our navigation menu "DeafBlind Camp" All your "one stop" resources!


December 2, 2017

Please support and input your concern against removal of Net Neutrality to the FCC. Removing Net Neutrality will affect the future of Deaf and DeafBlind internet communications. Please click on the following link from NAD to learn more how you can help.

https://www.nad.org/2017/12/01/supportnetneutrality/

 

August 2017 Newsletter

Posted: August 25, 2017

Here is August 2017 Edition of AADB Newsletter! Read our newsletter at: http://www.aadbnewsletter.wordpress.com


Open Letter to RID & CASLI

Posted: July 11, 2017

Aformentioned by NAD:

Dear Members, 
Many organizations, including the NAD, jointly write to inquire about the status of and plans for the National Interpreter Certification (NIC). The August 4, 2015 decision by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) to place the NIC on a moratorium has had a significantly adverse impact on the deaf and hard of hearing community, sign language interpreters, aspiring sign language interpreters and entities that rely on the certification to protect the quality of sign language interpreting services within their organization, state, or areas of service. Here are the two links for ASL and English below: 


June 2017 Newsletter

Posted: June 20, 2017

Here is June 2017 Edition of AADB Newsletter! Read our newsletter at: http://www.aadbnewsletter.wordpress.com


Update!: New Facebook Business Page!

Posted: May 26, 2017

Follow us to recieve notifications on our activities, as well as anouncements on our bi-monthly Newsletter and the dates to watch the "Board of Directors" at work on AADB Open Board Meetings. Don't miss out! Like us at https://www.facebook.com/AADB1937/


2017 AADB Bi-Monthly Newsletters

Posted May 10, 2017

Check out our AADB Bi-monthly Newsletter! Here is the link: http://www.aadbnewsletter.wordpress.com


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