Living Well With A Disability
Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania
Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania  

Living Well

The newsletter of the Deafblind Living Well Services

"Expanding possibilities for people who are deafblind"

March 2017




**For assistive technology users, to skip to the next heading use "h".**

In this issue:

  1. Letter from DBLWS staff
  2. Program Progress
  3. Types of activities
  4. Social Media
  5. upcoming Deafblind community events

From the DBLWS Staff




DBLWS hopes that this finds you and yours well and healthy. It’s been a long time since DBLWS published a newsletter. We apologize for the long time during which there was no newsletter. It is the responsibility of Marsha Drenth, Program Manager, to write and publish the newsletters. As the program continues to grow and more services are being used, the newsletter, which had fallen low on the priority list, is now being addressed. Also, all previous newsletters were just plain text with many words, and we felt that upgrading the newsletter was needed. So to that end, Marsha Drenth refreshed herself on HTML coding and other ways to improve the layout of the newsletter. As you can see, the result is a newsletter that is not only pleasing to the eye but also accessible and completely published and distributed by DBLWS. We also want our newsletter to be about more than just the SSP program but also about the greater Pennsylvania deafblind community. DBLWS works diligently to achieve statewide recognition as the authority on anything and everything related to deafblindness in Pennsylvania. If you have feedback on items of interest which you would like to see included in a future edition of the newsletter, please send us an email using the address below. 


One new part of the newsletter to which we would like to draw your attention is the inclusion of a calendar of Deafblind events happening around the state. There are several different communities of persons who are deafblind in Pennsylvania, including one in the Philadelphia area and one in the Pittsburgh area, but there are also other activities happening in other parts of the state which should be mentioned. DBLWS is unaware of any other existing calendar or list of activities for persons who are deafblind, for parents of children who are deafblind, and SSP's. We are hoping that the inclusion of this calendar of events will unite persons who are deafblind or who are interested in the deafblindness community across the Commonwealth. 

As seen from every previous newsletter, we at DBLWS have been extremely busy. You will see further down in this document that our progress is steady. DBLWS also compiles a monthly report for shareholders and other interested parties. To re-cap quickly, In November, DBLWS was a participant at the Hearing Loss Expo in Camp Hill. This event was very successful. Also in November, we trained an additional 18 SSP's. Many of those folks have already begun providing services. In December and January, DBLWS was out in the field visiting consumers in the Philadelphia and North East areas, and we are proud to say that those persons are already using services. Also in January, DBLWS joined the PATTAN Deafblind Project Advisory Committee. In February, the SSP committee met to discuss the programs progress. One of the to-do items from that meeting was the development of a Pennsylvania DBLWS white paper. We are working on that and will share when it is complete. In March, DBLWS participated in several outreach events, one of them being the BBVS STEM 4 U event in Philadelphia at Temple University. There are many more outreach activities scheduled for the months of April, May, and June. 


Two other noteworthy topics: Recently a national survey of SSP's and persons who work as SSP's has been published. DBLWS encourages you to take this survey. National SSP Survey here! This same group who developed the survey will also take your information if you have been trained as an SSP. Their goal is to take the names and contact information from the surveys and develop a national SSP registry. It is up to you as DBLWS-trained SSP's if you want to be included in that registry. The second noteworthy item is that DBLWS has created a Facebook group for SSP's. Currently, the group is only for SSP's who have been trained through DBLWS., We are hoping that this group will provide a method for DBLWS to provide our SSPs with additional training in topics like ethical boundaries, technology, and Pro-Tactile, as a few examples. If you are a DBLWS-trained SSP and you are not yet in this group but would like to be, please send me an Email. I will help you get connected to that group. 


There is so much more that we could write about, but of course, this is only a small glimpse into the program. If at any time you have questions or concerns, please email us. And as stated above, look out for our next newsletter, which will be published at the end of April. 

Take care, 


Marsha Drenth, DBLWS program Manager


Program Progress


**For assistive technology users, navigate the below table using control+alt+Arrow keys.**

Consumers who are deafblind:


Consumers who are deafblind actively using SSP services:


Total number of trained SSPs:


total number of SSPs working:


February total activities:


February total hours:



Types of activities


**For assistive technology users, navigate the below table using control+alt+Arrow keys.**








Eating out

Food shopping

Other Shopping




February 2017














Feedback from consumers


Social Media


The below table provides the February Facebook posts. If you're not following DBLWS on facebook, please go here: Visit DBLWS on Facebook to LIKE and FOLLOW us to stay updated. 


**For assistive technology users, navigate the below table using control+alt+Arrow keys.**



February 23

March 4 Pittsburgh BVS Stem expo

February 7

2017 Annual Deaf Expo!

February 1

OVR/BVS and the ACBP are now accepting award

nominations for our Blindness Awareness Expo!


Upcoming Deafblind community events


the below events are not hosted by DBLWS, but only listed here to inform the community. If you know of other activities for persons who are deafblind, please send an email to with the subject line, "Community Events".

April 6

PAD/GPCC Deafblind Easter Gathering - Email donna for more

information here

April 29

CTK Deaf Expo, Flyer here!

May 17

Vision Resources of Burkes County - More information here

May 23

BVS Blindness Awareness Expo

June 23 - 27

PATTAN Family Learning Conference, "a href="">Flyer here!

July 22

Deafblind Pool Party, Email Scott Stoffel here


DeafBlind Living Well Services - Support Service Provider program


Click address below for Google Map directions:


Local Main Office:

Center for Independent Living of Central PA

207 House Avenue, Suite 107

Camp Hill, PA 17011


Main Office Phone:

717.731.1900 (v/tty)

1.800.323.6060 (v/tty)


Living Well Hotline



Or use our contact form

Office Hours

Our office is open during the following hours:

9:00 am - 5:00 pm


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