Deaf & Hard of Hearing Business

27 08 2007

ASL Video – Approx 4:09 Minutes Long

Grant discussed about deaf and hard of hearing owned business. He remembers his father was in painting business for many years in Pittsburgh area back in 60’s and 70’s. Today many deaf businesses still exist today in construction, painting, and all that stuff. What’s more, more and more deaf and hard of hearing entered advanced business in 80’s & beyond. we saw it growing steady over years. (dot com boom, technology, better laws, etc.)

Fortunately, we have organization like NDBI (National Deaf Business Institute) but they have been either quiet or dead for long time time now. (Anybody know why?) Hopefully NDBI will be active again soon before he get old :)

Many deaf and hard of hearing business struggle to stay into business – maybe they are doing just fine but they could have expand or acquire hearing business to stay strong into markets. (Top 500 Fortunate) We all need some kind of support system, mentoring, advice, workshop, etc.


Also, he mentioned Deaf Professional Network website – it have been inactive for sometime since beginning of this year. Hopefully they will be back soon!


Grant W Laird Jr.

What is Regional Specialist?

17 08 2007

ASL Video – Approx 5:00 Minutes Long

Grant discussed about Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS – It used to be called TCDHH) under Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) — they have several programs such as STAP, Interpreter Certification (BEI), referral program, much more! Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program also work closely with DHHS.

And of course, Regional Specialist program (RS) is one of the newest concepts that I know of. They successfully launched RS program more than five years ago with one specialist and it grew over 18 specialists (click here to view list or map) all over Texas today.

These information from DHHS website:

Deafness Resource Specialists (DRS) have the knowledge-base and communication ability to work with persons who are deaf, hard of hearing and late-deafened in the areas of advocacy, self-empowerment and sensitivity training, as well as with Federal and State mandates on equal access to services, including education and employment. In many instances, Specialists work as liaisons between consumers and service providers on appropriate service provision.

Hearing Loss Resource Specialists (HLRS) typically focus their services on sensitivity training, communication strategies and assistive technology for the workplace, home and beyond for more independence and self-sufficiency. Specialists help locate resources when working with people who are hard of hearing or who have an acquired loss of hearing.

The reason he bring it up because he discovered that many people never knew RS have been around for some time now. Unfortunately. If you find any information that I may not explain clearly or old information, please leave me the comment.

Again, this is for State of Texas residents only but if you know anybody that live here, please do let them know. Thanks so much!

Note: This is unofficial information – Grant did his best to explain how this program works and he doesn’t work for DARS/DHHS/DRS.

Grant W Laird Jr