Commission to hold public meetings about rural sign language interpreting services

The Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind (CCDHHDB) is holding informational meetings this month in Steamboat Springs and Frisco to let rural Coloradans know about a new pilot program that will provide sign language interpreting services outside the Front Range.

The Rural Interpreting Services Project (RISP) pilot program will arrange for and provide sign language interpreters in rural areas at no cost to consumers or service providers. Rural communities will have access to quality interpreting services, which could include medical, legal, community or work-related situations.

The two-year, $1.4 million pilot program was initiated by Colorado's Joint Budget Committee after recognizing the shortage of sign language interpreters in rural communities. This shortage has contributed to frequent barriers for effective communication for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind.

People living on the Front Range already have access to established sign language interpreting services. In contrast, rural areas have less access to quality interpreting services. Interpreting services are very expensive because sign language interpreters often must be contracted from the Front Range.

The RISP pilot program will target the areas of Colorado that are outside of the Front Range, and will include Pueblo. 

To learn more about the program, attend one of the following public meetings:

Steamboat Springs:
Wednesday, March 6 — 10:30-11:30 a.m. for the general community; and noon to 1 p.m. for the deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind community
The general community meeting is for medical providers, law enforcement, school districts, attorneys, city government, etc. The second meeting is targeted to the local deaf and hard of hearing communities and will include lunch.
Location: Bud Werner Memorial Library, Library Hall, 1289 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, 80487

Frisco:
Thursday, March 7 — 10-11 a.m. for the general community; and 6 to 7 p.m. for the deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind community
The general community meeting is for medical providers, law enforcement, school districts, attorneys, city government, etc. The second meeting is targeted to the local deaf and hard of hearing communities, and will follow the CCDHHDB's meeting, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m.
Location: Summit County Commons Building (Frisco Main Library), Buffalo Mountain Room, 37 Peak One Drive, Frisco, 80443. 

The CCDHHDB's mission is to be an agent of change for a sustainable statewide network of resources, dedicated to cultural and linguistic equality. The commission’s programs and services include auxiliary services, outreach and consultative services, a communications technology program, deafblind services, system advocacy, and a grant program. Learn more at http://ccdhh.com, or contact the commission at ccdhhdb_risp@state.co.us.