CSD Launches New Project to Help Deaf Access Internet
by Jenna Mann
December 06, 2010 6:07 PM
People who are deaf and hard of hearing can now take advantage of a new program created to help them get access to the internet. Communication Service for the Deaf started qualifying people for Project Endeavor this morning, and, already, they're getting lots of interest.
They've only been in business for a few hours, and already these call takers are all hard at work. It seems the services CSD now offers through Project Endeavor are in high demand.
"I think technology, for the deaf community, for the deaf consumer, it's a great equalizer," said Christopher Soukup, senior vice president at CSD.
Project Endeavor is the product of a nearly $15 million stimulus grant. For $230, people who are deaf or hard of hearing can buy a notebook computer plus access to broadband internet for a full year.
Project Endeavor is also creating jobs. Making sure applicants meet income guidelines are 60 new call takers, who understand the importance of Project Endeavor firsthand.
"Most of the jobs created have gone to deaf and hard of hearing individuals themselves," said Soukup.
Officials with CSD say internet access will change lives.
"It's an opportunity for them to fully participate in the world around them," said Soukup.
Through Project Endeavor, CSD is providing more than the hardware needed to get online. They're also providing lessons so users will know what to do once they're connected.
"We have a series of training videos that we're working on that will allow a deaf consumer to come in and look at ways of learning the basics," said Darlene Zangara, vice president of CSD's Centers of Excellence.
Video lessons will be produced in American Sign Language, unlike most internet tutorials already on the market.
"People can look at it in a visual language. They can pause it if they need to review something over again," said Zangara.
But these lessons go beyond Project Endeavor. Anyone will be able to access the videos, whether they're on a computer purchased through CSD or not.
Project Endeavor call takers can be contacted several ways:
- Phone: 877-NETME77
- TTY: 877-403-4596
- VP: 605-550-4056 or 605-644-7399
- Fax: 605-782-8446
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org