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January 29, 2007

Press Announcement - CSD Awarded Deaf Advocacy Training Project Grant

From: CSD - Jan 29, 2007

Release Date: Jan. 29, 2007
Contact: Derric Miller
CSD Communications Office

CSD Awarded Deaf Advocacy Training Project Grant

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Jan. 29, 2007) — The National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC) has awarded CSD a grant to implement phase one of their Deaf Advocacy Training (DAT) project. The project will develop and implement a nationwide advocacy education project as a resource for the national hearing loss community who utilize sign language interpreters for communication access purposes. The NCIEC is funded under the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).

The entire grant will be meted out in four phases, and CSD was awarded the initial phase. Phase one of the DAT, called “Identifying Effective Practices Related to Enhancing the Deaf Community’s Ability to Self-Advocate for Their Rights to Communication Access,” is a data collection project in which CSD and project partners across the nation will gather information through a comprehensive needs assessment procedure. The activity will determine the type of advocacy information the deaf community should know, and identifying the most effective means for delivering or teaching this information to the deaf community.

The next phases focus on developing the information identified from phase one (training materials, brochures, etc.), producing all print and electronic media, and finally, disseminating the materials. Each phase is a stand-alone project.

CSD’s plans to conduct research for the DAT project using these four main tools — literature review, forming focus groups in each of its six branch offices (Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas), setting up expert interviews, and conducting surveys across the nation with the support of project partners. CSD will be working closely with the NCIEC during every step of this project.

CSD was chosen, in part, because of their wide network of partners and collaborators. Some of those partners assisting CSD in this project are the National Association of the Deaf; the Association of Late Deafened Adults; the World Federation of the Deaf; Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc.; the National Council of Hispano Deaf and Hard of Hearing; and the Deafblind Service Center. More agencies and organizations may join in the project.

In addition, Dr. Harold Johnson, Michigan State University director of the Deaf Education Teacher Preparation Program, will provide assistance to design a data collection and dissemination system that will effectively enable CSD to accomplish the project’s goals.

“‘Empowerment’ is a critical buzz word in the national deaf community,” said Ben Soukup, CSD chief executive officer. “By working together with the NCIEC to help empower deaf people to become self-advocates — to know their rights when it comes to interpreting needs and overall communication access — we are arming them with the most important element available and something we should all have access to: knowledge.”

Larry Puthoff, CSD director of organization relations, will take the role of project coordinator for phase one of the DAT.

“It’s an honor for CSD to be awarded the first phase of the Deaf Advocacy Training Project,” said Puthoff. “We know the competition was tough and the project is HUGE. It is exactly aligned with CSD’s mission, and I look forward to bringing the project to life!”

For more information about the DAT, contact Larry Puthoff via telephone at (800) 737-2051 (voice), by e-mail at, or by videophone at

About CSD — CSD (aka Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.) was established in 1975, primarily to provide sign language interpreting services to deaf and hard of hearing adults in South Dakota. Today, CSD employs over 3,000 individuals in offices across the nation, providing a broad continuum of social and human services programs, as well as telecommunications relay services. CSD is a private nonprofit agency dedicated to providing quality services; ensuring public accessibility; and increasing awareness of issues affecting the deaf, hard of hearing and individuals with speech disabilities. For more information, please visit

About the NCIEC — The National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, #H160C030001, Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind. The National Consortium is dedicated to challenging the status quo by promoting innovation, strong partner networks and multiculturalism throughout its programming. As responsible stewards of public funding, the Consortium is committed to products, programs and services that maximize resources and are replicable, measurable, sustainable and non-proprietary.

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* CSD ~ An Official Sponsor of the 2007 Winter Deaflympics