Best Buy Store

5 09 2007

ASL Video – Approx 2:32 Minutes Long

Grant discussed about Best Buy Store (see announcement here and here) — he said that Best Buy Store contributing their employees to learn ASL in Washington DC area is a great idea! Hope other stores will copy the idea.

However, he expressed his concern if this store hire enough deaf and hard of hearing people to work at a retail level stores or even in management positions. He knew few people work at the retail level stores including warehouses but none at the management levels. They need to work on it

What’s more, he strong believe that Best Buy store including another store like Wal-mart, Target, Circuit City, that does not provide closed caption when we are looking at TV or HDTV display. This is one of the biggest disadvantages we have right now since it is very important for us to look and see, which brand have better caption quality such as font size, quality and all that stuff.

The Bottom line, Best Buy does a good job with this idea – hopefully they will expand into others that Grant mentioned. Maybe other stores will follow Best Buy Store.

TDI published a press release called Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network Demands Fairness for Consumers Buying HDTV from Retailers. This is a must check out!

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