Deaf-Blind Program

Open Letter to Deaf-Blind Community of the
Washington Metropolitan Area

Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind began a DeafBlind initiative in 2009 after receiving requests from the DeafBlind Community. Since that time, CLB has been building a program step-by-step. It started when CLB won a grant for DeafBlind Support Service Provider (SSP) services in Montgomery County, Maryland. Since the original grant, CLB has received several others in support of the services we provide to the DeafBlind community. CLB has also partnered with the area state rehabilitation agencies to help provide funding for services. As with any program, there have been some bumps in the road and steps have been taken to improve the program over time. CLB is now in the position to expand services to the DB community of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. CLB has the ability, with limited funding, to provide services in Northern Virginia and Washington DC, as well as Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in Maryland.

During the summer of 2012, the CLB DB team has been talking extensively with the members of the DB community, other advocates and stakeholders, and with the state rehabilitation agencies. Through these discussions the team has been able to gather information to help determine the best way to structure the DB program. As a result of these external and internal discussions, CLB has developed a comprehensive set of services for the DB community. This program has been developed with the mission of CLB in mind and an overall goal of independence and empowerment for the DB population.

CLB Mission:
Since 1900, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind has been dedicated to helping the blind and visually impaired population of the greater Washington region overcome the challenges of vision loss.
Our work enables people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired to remain independent, active and productive in society.

Goal of CLB DeafBlind Program:
The overall goal of the CLB DeafBlind program is to provide services that will help the DB community of the greater Washington DC region to overcome the challenges of dual sensory loss and to help the individual obtain their highest level of independence.

CLB DeafBlind Program Staff:
W. Brandon Cox, MA, COMS
Director of Rehabilitation Services
 Supervises the staff and programming efforts of the DB Program
 Leads in efforts to develop funding sources for services
 Sets appropriate processes and procedures in place to ensure sustainability and continued innovation in DB programming

Olivia Norman, Information and Referral Specialist
First contact for all individuals who need services from CLB, including clients who are DeafBlind.

Eddie Martinez, DeafBlind Services Coordinator
 Engages direct communication with DB clients who wish to obtain services from CLB
 Provides DB client and SSP orientation to policies and procedures for SSP services
 Provides administrative support for SSP Program clients and providers
 Provides Braille instruction to other clients who are DB

Shannon Wright, M. Ed., NIC, COMS, CVRT
DeafBlind Program Coordinator and Training Specialist
 Provides direct one-on-one services to DB clients in Orientation and Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Services
 Certified American Sign Language Interpreter
 Provides expert guidance in DB programming and structure

Dean Stonecipher, Orientation and Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Specialist
 Provides Orientation and Mobility and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy to DeafBlind individuals who do not use sign language as their primary mode of communication or teaches with interpreters

Tiffiany Jones, Assistant Program Manager
 Manages the NDBEDP and other administrative support
Clients may also work with others on staff at CLB. CLB is committed to providing communication access to the DeafBlind clients we serve.

Description of Services Offered to the DeafBlind Community:
1. Information and Referral Services
a. Contact Olivia Norman by phone at 240-737-5170 or by email at  to open a case with CLB to begin any type of service
b. CLB will provide services contingent upon available funding
c. If CLB is unable to provide services, we will provide a referral to another agency

2. Case Management Services
a. Any individual who requires more than one service will be provided with a Case Manager who will work with the individual throughout their training

3. Support Service Provider (SSP) Services
a. CLB will match each DB client with an SSP
i. Monthly hours will be determi