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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
1997 - Issue #6
This is the first article in a series that will appear on a
quarterly basis in the GA Newsletter. Watch for upcoming articles
addressing 9-1-1 issues.
What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the number you dial for police, fire
or medical emergencies such as heart attacks or breathing
problems. In accordance with State law and Federal ADA (Americans
with Disability Act) requirements, all 9-1-1 operators must have
equipment that allows them to respond to incoming TTY calls.
9-1-1 operators must also be trained to recognize silent calls or
calls with beeping sounds. The TTY user is not required to press
their space bar when calling 9-1-1, however it does help the
9-1-1 operator to hear the message "This is a hearing
impaired caller. Please use a TTY," after you tap the space
bar (for TTYs equipped with this feature).
What Happens After You Call 9-1-1?
If a TTY user is a Seattle resident and makes a call to 9-1-1, the call is sent to the phone company computer, then to the 9-1-1 call distributor computer. The computer then gives the call to the 9-1-1 operator responsible for service in the area the call is being made from. Each operator has a special type of phone, a "positron" device, and a computer terminal that is hooked up to a network of terminals used by police dispatchers and police officers in patrol cars. Communication is mostly by computers.
The positron device reads the number the TTY user is calling from and sends a request to the phone company computer for the address and name of the person on the phone bill. This information is then displayed on the computer screen for the 9-1-1 operator. This device is also used to transfer calls to other areas, such as the fire department, medical personnel, phone company or King County Mounties (police officers on horses). Once the 9-1-1 operator gets this information, they use the special phone to transfer phone calls to the TTY machine. This phone also transfers non-emergency calls to the non-emergency 7-digit number.
The Seattle system described above is called the E9-1-1 (enhanced 9-1-1). The basic 9-1-1 service has no positron device or equipment to get names and address on the phone bill. They may have call-tracking devices, but it takes more time to obtain the information needed.
Not every 9-1-1 center in Washington State is hooked to E9-1-1. There are currently 22 counties that have the E9-1-1 system in place, 15 counties that have basic 9-1-1 services and 2 counties that have no 9-1-1 services, but do have 7-digit emergency numbers.
If you have any questions about 9-1-1 issues, contact Janel
Stromme, 9-1-1/TTY Program Trainer at (206) 322-4996 (TTY), (206)
720-3251 (FAX), or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter from the Director
by Rob Roth
Please join me in welcoming new
staff member Judy Kaddoura who recently became an Interpreter
Referral Service Specialist. She is the friendly typist/voice
that you may have conversed with recently. Judy moved here from
Spokane, and has two children, a daughter, 22, and a son, 19.
Congratulations to Nancylynn
Bridges, Assistant Director, who has accepted a position with
Travis County Services for the Deaf in Austin, Texas. Nancylynn
will leave Seattle in the middle of July; we will miss her.
Judie Husted will now be working
half-time as the Interpreter Referral Service Coordinator, until
a new coordinator is found. Judie eventually plans to return to
full-time freelance interpreting. Judie leaves a legacy of
commitment and love for CSCDHH that everyone here appreciates.
We now have positions open at
CSCDHH. They are Interpreter Referral Service Specialist (full-
and part-time), Interpreter Referral Service Coordinator (full or
part time), and Executive Assistant (half-time). Please call
Rebekka Berger at 206/322-4996 V/TTY for job descriptions.
Recently, CSCDHH was asked to
coordinate two separate focus groups of deaf, deaf-blind and hard
of hearing people. One, for Very Special Arts Washington, was to
find out the state of arts access for our community; the other,
for United Way, sought to gather feedback on United Way's funding
priorities. While the what Arts Access is doing is a very
valuable to share, it is an article into itself that I will share
with you another time. For now, I would like to tell you more
about the United Way focus group.
Eight people participated,
including one hearing parent of a deaf child, three hard of
hearing persons, and four deaf persons (deaf-blind persons will
have a separate focus group with United Way). Some were from
South King County, some in Seattle, and others from North King
County and Eastside. One person was of Asian descent, and another
was African American. Some were late-deafened, others were born
deaf, or were deafened early in life. It was a pretty diverse
group, representative of deaf and hard of hearing persons
countywide. This focus group is one of many conducted by United
Way in various geographic (i.e. South King County) and
demographic (i.e. African-Americans) communities.
The following were the issues discussed:
"What are the critical human service needs facing the community? What are you personally concerned about?"
"What barriers exist that make accessing services or programs difficult for people in your community?"
All of us came away from the focus
group feeling better for having expressed our opinions. It
certainly gave me some ideas about the direction that CSCDHH
could go should we be able to obtain more funding. Participation
in forums like this assist United Way and other funding sources
to understand the needs of the deaf, hard of hearing and
deaf-blind persons, both individually and as a community.
I welcome letters from readers of
the GA. Tell me how you feel about the responses from the focus
group. Do you agree or disagree? Are there other issues not
covered? Write to me at CSCDHH; email@example.com is where I can be
reached via e-mail. I will forward your comments to United Way.
P.S. My sincere thanks to those
that participated in both focus groups. Their time and feedback
was very much appreciated!
Next time you're wondering what to do on a Friday or Saturday night, why not try the Seattle Opera? For more than 10 years now, the Seattle Opera has been using what is called Supratitles, which work something like closed-captioned TV. As the singer sings a song, the words are projected on a screen above the stage. These supratitles not only benefit Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, but also the average hearing person, especially when listening to Italian or French arias rather than English.
Supratitles are projected from a booth behind the audience. Before the opera, someone types all the words into Microsoft Project onto a laptop computer. The computer is then plugged into a projector called Barcodata 3000LC, the brightest projector in Seattle. As the singers sing, someone operates the laptop deciding when to project which supratitles. The result? Closed-captioned opera!
Unfortunately, since the Seattle Opera decides what to caption, not everything is actually captioned. For example, they do not caption sound effects, unimportant lines, or words repeated over and over again. So, captions may stop while the singers still sing and won't be until a couple minutes later before the captions start up again. Also, operas sung in English tend to have fewer captions than Italian or French. They assume you can understand the words.
Nevertheless, the Seattle Opera could be a very entertaining
and worthwhile alternative to regular theaters. Now, if only they
did the same thing in movie theaters. . . .
CSCDHH has three job openings
Contact Rebekka at (206) 322-4996 (V/TTY) for more
AA Meetings for the Deaf have meetings every week all
over Seattle, Eastside and Tacoma. For more information, call
Jackie H. at (206) 744-1020 (V) or (206) 344-7985 (TTY), Ken P.
(206) 486-9342 (TTY), Billy H. (206) 787-8632 (TTY) e-mail
WHSSecond@aol.com, Laurel W. (206) 784-9335 (V/TTY) e-mail
Page449@msn.com. For Al-anon or co-dependency meetings, contact
Heidi (206) 362-3771 (TTY).
King County Board for Developmental Disabilities has
four job openings. The board provides services for individuals
with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism or
other impairments. For more information, call (206) 296-5214 (V)
or (206) 296-5238 (TTY). Forms may be picked up at 700 Fifth
Avenue, Suite 3800, Seattle WA 98104.
Puyallup School District is seeking Educational
Interpreters for the 1997-98 school year. Assignments are in the
district's Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program with students
preschool through high school age. Also substitute interpreters
needed immediately. We offer quality teaming, recent technologies
and modern facilities. For additional information, contact Diane
Weir, Assistant Director of Special Education, at (206) 845-7235
(V) or (206) 841-8655 (FAX).
Seattle Gymnastics Academy is offering gymnastics
classes and camp in sign language. Ages 4 - 12. Please call
Michelle at (206) 362-7447 (V) ASAP for more information.
The May issue of GA Newsletter was edited by Laurette Lajoie
and Branden Huxtable.
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