Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.

Project Endeavor

Broadband’s ability to expand educational and employment opportunities is especially meaningful for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, a community that faces unique challenges in education and that suffers from a rate of unemployment much higher than the national average. Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) intends to expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide them with online tools to more fully participate in the digital economy. The project proposes to employ a combination of discounted broadband service and specialized computers, technology training from an online state-of-the art support center customized to the community’s needs, public access to videophones at anchor institutions from coast to coast, and a nationwide outreach initiative. Thousands will gain online access to all the Internet has to offer, including sign language interpreters, captioned video services, and other content and functionalities designed especially to advance their educational, employment, and healthcare interests.

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BTOP In Action
Photo: “Communication Service for the Deaf BTOP in Action Employee Contacting Cu

Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) opened its new contact center on December 6, 2010, in Sioux Falls, S.D. This center is supporting a nationwide initiative to provide discounted equipment, high-speed Internet access, and life-skills training to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Through the center’s American-Sign-Language (ASL)-trained staff, individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing will be able to purchase a video-configured Dell 11z notebook and a 3G/4G wireless Internet access plan for $230. The center’s website also contains 10 web-based “how to” training videos. Using ASL, the videos teach computer basics, technical troubleshooting solutions, and Internet search tips.

One focus of the center is to increase employment opportunities. The center will host several career training workshops, teaching interviewing skills and job search techniques for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. The center is also creating 60 new positions for ASL-trained professionals, with 40 of those positions already filled by mid-December 2010.

CSD’s ultimate goal is to create easier, more effective communications methods for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. CSD anticipates that when the project is complete, nearly 16,000 people nationwide will have access to discounted computers, high-speed broadband, and life skills training. To see local news coverage, please visit here.

Last Updated: January 13, 2011

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