Nov 222014
 

StephanieUlmer

 

Ulmer will promote CapTel services for Virginians who are Hard of Hearing

 

RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) and Hamilton Relay, Virginia’s captioned telephone (CapTel®) service provider, recently announced that Stephanie Ulmer has been hired as Virginia Relay Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator. In her new position, Stephanie will provide outreach support and education services for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia to raise awareness of the CapTel services available through Virginia Relay. Virginia Relay is a free public service that enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or who have difficulty speaking to place and receive telephone calls.

 

Ulmer is highly experienced in business and customer service within the health care field. Previously, she worked for the District 19 Community Services Board as administrative associate in Child and Adolescent Services. She currently resides in Prince George, Va.

 

“I am looking forward to shifting my focus to marketing,” says Ulmer. “I am excited to have the opportunity to travel and meet people throughout Virginia and educate them about the life-changing benefits CapTel provides for individuals who have difficulty hearing over the phone.”

 

CapTel is designed specifically for people who have difficulty hearing over the telephone. Using a CapTel phone, users speak directly to the other person and are able to listen while reading word-for-word captions of what’s said to them during phone conversations. Behind the scenes, captions are generated by a specially-trained Captioning Assistant using state-of-the-art voice recognition software. Captions appear on the CapTel phone’s display screen nearly simultaneously to the spoken word, adding clarity and confidence in using the phone to communicate with friends, family and businesses.

Virginia residents are eligible to purchase CapTel phones at a special reduced rate of $75 through Virginia Relay. CapTel phones are also available at no cost to people who qualify medically and financially through Virginia’s Technology Assistance Program (TAP). For more information, please visit www.varelay.org or contact Stephanie Ulmer at stephanie.ulmer@hamiltonrelay.com.

 

About Virginia Relay

Virginia Relay and the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) provide the most up-to-date technologies and assistive devices to enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech-impaired to communicate via a standard telephone network. Virginia Relay services are easily accessible to anyone by dialing 7-1-1. For more information on Virginia Relay and its services, please visit www.varelay.org, or call VDDHH at 804-662-9502 v/t.

 

About Hamilton Relay

Hamilton Relay provides contracted Traditional Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 17 states, the District of Columbia and the Island of Saipan, and is a provider of Internet-based Captioned Telephone services nationwide. More information is available at www.hamiltonrelay.com.

 

 

Oct 272014
 
Joseph Thomas Kopas
Joseph Thomas Kopas
Born in Massachusetts on Feb. 13, 1926
Departed on Oct. 20, 2014 and resided in Virginia Beach, VA.
Memorial Mass: Friday, Oct. 24, 2014
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.
  
Virginia Beach- Joseph Thomas Kopas, 88, passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was the son to the late Mr. John and Theresa Kopas. Born in Massachusetts, and was a 1952 graduate of Gallaudet University. Mr. Kopas was also the first deaf teacher in Massachusetts and continued teaching for 42 years. He was a member of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, as well as the Knights of Columbus.

Mr. Kopas is survived by his wife, Alice M. Kopas; his children, Jay (Melody) Kopas of Pheonix, AZ, Antonia (Paul) Tronti of Fredericksburg, VA and Angela (Rex) Sims of Virginia Beach, VA; 10 Grandchildren and 9 Great-Grandchildren and a Brother, Anton Kopas of Webster, MA. He is preceded in death by his parents as well as his 8 Brothers and Sisters.

A Memorial Mass will be held Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 1968 Sandbridge Rd. VB, VA. Online condolences may be made at www.altmeyer.com. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. John the Apostle Sanctuary Project, 1968 Sandbridge Rd., VB, VA 23456, In memory of Joseph T. Kopas.

Oct 272014
 

Background:

On October 15, 2014, Governor McAuliffe announced changes in the State budget for Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015).  The original budget, approved by the General Assembly and the Governor earlier in 2014, was based on estimates of how much money the state expected to collect (revenue projections) from taxes, fees, etc.  Cuts to the budget are necessary because such revenue collections have been down in the Commonwealth.  When he announced the cuts, the Governor said, “Making these budget reductions has been the most difficult experience of my term so far. In a government as lean and well-run as ours, there are few spending cuts you can make without impacting the lives of Virginians.”

 

When budget cuts have been made in the past, the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) has been able to maintain a stable level of direct services.  Unfortunately, the cuts announced last week include a reduction in funding for the Interpreter Services Program (ISP) for Fiscal Year 2015.  Specifically, VDDHH will have to reduce the interpreter services provided for 12-step meetings and funerals through June 30, 2015.  We do not know if we will be able to restore these services for Fiscal Year 2016, which starts on July 1, 2015; it will depend upon the budget approved by the 2015 General Assembly.

 

About Sign Language Interpreters for 12-Step Meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous/AA; Narcotics Anonymous/NA)

Effective November 1, 2014, VDDHH will not be able to pay for sign language interpreters for 12-Step (AA/NA) meetings.  We are working with Alcoholics Anonymous of Virginia Special Needs Committees to find out how local chapters can support the cost of interpreters for these meetings.

There are some other resources that can support Deaf people with substance abuse issues:

  • If you are a client of a Community Services Board (CSB), you should ask about communication access (and related funding) for your meetings.
  • There are online 12-step meetings available for Deaf people.
  • Deaf Off Drugs and Alcohol (DODA) has a website that includes information and access to online meetings, and a link to DODA’s schedule of meetings. Here is the link: http://www.med.wright.edu/citar/sardi/doda.

 

About Sign Language Interpreters for Funerals and Memorial Services

Effective November 1, 2014, VDDHH will not be able to pay for sign language interpreters for visitations, funerals or memorial services.  Families should ask the funeral home to provide an interpreter.   The funeral home can contact VDDHH at 804-662-9502 for help in locating an interpreter but VDDHH will not be able to pay for the interpreter.  VDDHH will be working to provide more information to funeral home directors about the need for interpreters. If you have a complaint about a funeral home because it does not provide effective communication, you may be able to file an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint.  For more information, you may contact:

 

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact VDDHH at 804-662-9502.