LCD Home > Support Service Providers (SSPs)
Support Service Provider (SSP) Program
A Service Support Provider (SSP) is a trained guide who works one-on-one with a person who is both d/Deaf and blind to communicate information. They act as a visual guide to help their client perform everyday activities. SSPs provide information about a person's physical and social environment via tactile sign language or other methods of communication. This ensures DeafBlind individuals are able to fully participate in activities in their community and live with more self-confidence.
Here are a few examples of the types of services an SSP can provide:
- Supporting communication with other people using the DeafBlind person’s preferred mode of communication (sign language, tactile communication, speech, etc).
- Providing information about physical surroundings, such as how many people are around and where they are located.
- Relaying social information, such as describing the mood of people in the area.
- Driving a person to and from the grocery store and assisting to purchase items.
The Louisiana Commission for the Deaf (LCD) provides SSP services to Louisiana residents who are DeafBlind as defined by US legislature. Eligible participants will have:
- Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in their better eye with corrective lenses or a visual field defect.
- Chronic hearing loss so severe that most speech cannot be understood.
- Extreme difficulty in doing daily life activities, participating in social activities, or getting a job on their own.
If an individual cannot have their hearing and vision properly measured, but they have severe hearing and visual disabilities that make it extremely difficult to be independent, they may still be eligible for the program.
If you believe you are eligible for SSP services, contact your local Regional Service Center (RSC)*. They will make sure you qualify and set up an appointment to go over the details of services. Consumers are given a set number of hours per month to use depending on need and the goals of each person. Additional hours may be approved by LCD upon request.
*Please note that the RSC in Region 9 has permanently closed and Lighthouse Louisiana will temporarily provide services for this area to ensure there is not an interruption in services. Visit our News page for more information.
Support Service Provider Contractor Responsibilities
View the Service Provision Manual for the current requirements.
Interested in Becoming a Support Service Provider (SSP)?
Anyone interested in becoming and SSP can contact their local Regional Service Center (RSC). All SSPs must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Able to accommodate a consumer’s communication preference. This includes sign language, tactile communication, speech, print, Braille, technology, etc.
- Pass a background check (no criminal record).
- Have a valid driver’s license.
- Have current car insurance that includes liability insurance (this only applies to those who will drive consumers as part of their SSP role).
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