Post Content

Advocating and supporting services for Deafblind individuals in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Commissioner Paul Saner speaks at DeafBlind Day at the State House (Photo credit: Anna Miller for Perkins)

Deafblind Awareness Day was held on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at the Massachusetts State House. Individuals who are Deafblind, family members, advocates, service providers and friends convened in the Great Hall to bring awareness to lawmakers about Deafblind supports needed and the importance of investing in those services.

Deafblindness is a combination of vision and hearing loss. It can be represented in varying degrees in different individuals but often results in challenges in communication, education, and independence. Unique educational programs and community supports are critical to providing opportunities for children and adults who are Deafblind so they can be successful in all areas of life, including employment, communication and access to information and services.

Key agencies serving persons who are Deafblind were on exhibit, including:

In all, it was a very successful event! Presenters shared their stories and highlighted the vital impact that services have had on their lives. Mitch Sanborn, Director of the Deafblind Multi-handicapped Unit (DBMH) at MCB, received an award in “Recognition for Providing Quality Services for Individuals Who Are Deafblind in MA.”

The Massachusetts Deaf Blind/Multi-Handicapped unit provides services to consumers who are deaf blind and or legally blind with cognitive issues, via counselors who are skilled in the basic use of American Sign Language (ASL) and or a variety of alternate communication methods. Services include:

  • vocational, prevocational
  • social day programs
  • respite
  • adaptive equipment
  • low vision aides
  • flex funding
  • residential placement
  • transition from school to living in the community
  • and more!

The unit’s goal is to enhance each consumer’s independence and overall quality of life. For more information or to learn how access these services, call (TTD) to 1-800-392-6556 or email Mitch Sanborn at Mitch.Sanborn@State.MA.US.

 

 

 

 

 

Written By:


Rehabilitation Counselor, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

Communications Director, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Recent Posts

THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community posted on Apr 9

THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community

Four listening sessions. Hundreds of voices. “My daughter felt ashamed, isolated. Stigma keeps kids from getting help.” -Jennifer “We need to create compelling reasons for parents to come to the table and have conversations and we are not talking about middle school and high school.   …Continue Reading THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community

From Serving Homeless To Setting Policy: Meet Dr. Monica Bharel posted on Feb 25

From Serving Homeless To Setting Policy: Meet Dr. Monica Bharel

We are proud to welcome a champion of human rights and health care for everyone. From tackling homelessness to reducing disparities in care, Dr. Monica Bharel, our new Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, will bring experience and passion to the task of keeping   …Continue Reading From Serving Homeless To Setting Policy: Meet Dr. Monica Bharel

Go Do Good Things: A Room Dedicated to the Legacy of Former Commissioner Elmer Bartels  posted on Dec 16

Go Do Good Things: A Room Dedicated to the Legacy of Former Commissioner Elmer Bartels 

It is with great pleasure that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) announces the newly dedicated Elmer C. Bartels Conference room. This month, the MRC dedicated a room on the second floor of our Administrative Office in Boston to the memory and spirit of former Commissioner Elmer   …Continue Reading Go Do Good Things: A Room Dedicated to the Legacy of Former Commissioner Elmer Bartels