Advocating and supporting services for Deafblind individuals in Massachusetts
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:
- Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)
- Helen Keller National Center
- New England Consortium for Deafblind
- Deafblind Community Access Network (DBCAN)
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
- 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.
A picture is worth a thousand words… posted on Nov 24
A picture is worth a thousand words. It also could be worth a new home for a child in need. “There is something about seeing the face of a child awaiting adoption that speaks to the heart,” said Jake Murtaugh with MARE, Inc. “Each picture …Continue Reading A picture is worth a thousand words…
Women Veterans Recognized for Service and Strong Network at Appreciation Event posted on Nov 10
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is proud to honor all of those who have served our country in the armed forces this Veteran’s Day. Massachusetts is also proud to have a strong Women Veteran’s Network that acts as a central resource for women veterans. Established in …Continue Reading Women Veterans Recognized for Service and Strong Network at Appreciation Event
DPH Commissioner Bharel recognized for her work to provide health care to the state’s most vulnerable residents posted on Nov 6
For two decades, Dr. Bharel has worked to improve the lives of vulnerable populations in Boston. Now, in her capacity as Commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH), she is expanding her reach to develop and implement reforms that will impact residents across the …Continue Reading DPH Commissioner Bharel recognized for her work to provide health care to the state’s most vulnerable residents