American Association of the Deaf-Blind

A New Beginning

 

Dream of SSP's

Posted:
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

by Donald Aills

But where will the money come from to start this agency? Where will I find the needed funds? I hope that AADB can help.

Donald Aills
Deaf-Blind Individual

I was born with Usher Syndrome Type 1. I've been nearly blind since 1998. I'm the founder and president of Indiana Deaf-Blind Association (InDBA). I'm also involved with Indiana Deaf-Blind Task Force and the Mayor's Advisory Council on Disabilities.

I've had the experience of working with friends and interpreters as my SSP. I trained them on how to guide me, help me walk around, help me locate a room and tell me who else is there. They take me to my appointments, meetings and out shopping. We go to deaf-blind events together. They help me communicate with other people. I also taught them policy and safety rules so we can work well together.

I earn a low income and can not afford to hire SSPs to work for me. For this reason, I need to use friends. I still have to help pay for gas and pay for their meals and admission tickets. They feel like they put in much work but don't earn any money.

InDBA is a small group of deaf-blind people. Many people in Indiana can not afford to pay drivers to take them to InDBA meetings and events. I noticed that some deaf-blind people fail to attend these meetings. It happens because they can't find SSPs or transportation.

We need the chance to go out and be a part of our communities. To do that, we need SSPs and interpreters to help us communicate with hearing people.

I dream of a new deaf-blind organization in Indiana. My plan is to train and hire SSPs. I want to create a new agency for people who are deaf-blind. I would even hire deaf-blind individuals to work there.

But where will the money come from to start this agency? Where will I find the needed funds? I hope that AADB can help.

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