DEAF, Inc. is our first partner in providing interpreting services through Vineya. We are very proud of this partnership because they are an organization that shares our values in deaf empowerment and providing quality interpreters.
CSD’s Chief of Sales and Marketing Pat Myers visited the Deaf Society of New South Wales, a wonderful, like-minded organization that has served the needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Australia for over 100 years.
Sean Forbes, a deaf rapper, visited the Austin CSD office before his evening performance at the Texas School for the Deaf.
DeafNation hosted an expo in Austin, TX — a short walk away from CSD Headquarters. We had a booth there and it was a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with members of the community we serve. This was also where we interviewed some of the people for The Deaf Experience.
We are pleased to announce that Willie King has been hired to serve as our new chief technology officer (CTO).
Willie began his career at CSD in 2002 after studying engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Willie spent the first part of his career in IT-specific roles in help desk, system administration and system engineering. He comes home to CSD after eight years of progressively responsible experience at ZVRS. Most recently, he served as director of product management, supporting a full portfolio of video relay service product offerings. In his role as director, Willie was responsible for supporting relationships with a number of large government and corporate customers, as well as industry partners including Glide, Apple and Google.
In his new capacity as CTO, Willie will lead the optimization of a central technology strategy for CSD—both in terms of the IT infrastructure that supports our day-to-day operation and the products we are building in pursuit of our #CSDvision.
When interpreters are not immediately available, some deaf parents will resort to using their hearing children as interpreters. This can place a great deal of stress on the child. With Vineya, you can always find certified interpreters.
Direct communication is the most efficient way to support deaf and hard of hearing customers.
In 2010, CSD received a $14.9M grant to expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide them with direct services and online tools to more fully participate in the digital economy. The grant period concluded in 2013. The name of the project was “Project Endeavor.”
In order to provide quality service to qualified recipients of the grant, we hired, trained, and managed over 60 deaf and hard of hearing contact center employees. They processed over 14,000 requests for subsidized devices and broadband subscriptions. The contact center reached customers in all 50 states and a total of 482,053 total customer contacts were processed.
It has been and continues to be a wonderful privilege to serve the community in the great state of Minnesota. For nearly 20 years, Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) has had a significant presence in the state as an employer, a provider of programs and services, and as a participating and contributing member of your community. We are proud to be in Minnesota, and we look forward to being an active supporter of the Minnesota deaf community in the years to come.
The world has changed significantly since CSD first began providing services in the state in the 1990s. Technology has transformed (and is continuing to transform) the way we communicate and interact with the world around us. CSD has always sought to use new technology in ways that can directly enhance the life experience of our community. CSD’s role in introducing the first nationwide video relay service (VRS) is a noteworthy example. For many deaf people, VRS completely replaced older text or TTY-based relay services. VRS dramatically improved the quality of communication between a signing deaf caller and the voice user on the receiving end by allowing a deaf person to communicate more naturally and effectively in their native language.CSD has always sought to use new technology in ways
that can directly enhance the life experience of our community.
Today, CSD is still hard at work innovating ways to further improve communication and access to vital programs and services. In recent years, we have gone through a significant transformation as a company to strengthen our ability to develop technology-centered solutions for the deaf and hard of hearing community. We want to create more employment opportunities for deaf people. We believe there should be universal access to communication, regardless of where and when access is needed. We want to support and strengthen all organizations that provide essential community-facing programs and services. We also want to impact deaf people beyond the borders of this country, and our aspiration is to affect positive change for the entire community worldwide.
These are big and ambitious goals that we have set for ourselves. All of us at CSD are fiercely committed to this vision for our community’s future. However, this cannot and will not be successful if we pursue it alone. As an organization, our service model must evolve, and we must invest in community and organizational partnerships. We must engage the support and participation of our community in order to achieve the kind of future we believe is possible. Together, we can accomplish so much more.
LEFT TO RIGHT: Jimmy Beldon, Christopher Soukup, Pat Myers, Patty McCutcheon, Brandi Rarus.
We are pleased to announce that CSD has formed a major, long-term partnership with Keystone Interpreting Solutions (KIS) to expand statewide access to quality sign language interpreting services throughout the state of Minnesota. We believe that KIS shares our core values and that they exist for the purpose of supporting and serving the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing community. KIS co-founders Jimmy Beldon and Patty McCutcheon have deep roots in the state and have been leaders in the interpreting profession for decades. They have both been recognized locally, as well as nationally, for their contributions to the field of interpreting and for their contributions to the community.CSD has formed a long-term partnership with Keystone Interpreting Solutions (KIS) to expand access to quality sign language interpreting services in Minnesota.
KIS will be focusing on local relationship management and will be leading the local delivery of services. CSD will be transitioning responsibility for the customers that we support today in Minnesota to KIS. They will be expanding their operation in Minnesota to ensure the total needs of interpreters, customers and the deaf community are being fully supported. KIS will be relocating to the current CSD office in St. Paul and will be co-located with CSD’s local community-facing programs: adult basic education; ASL training; and domestic violence advocacy, awareness and prevention.
CSD is thoroughly committed to supporting our partner, KIS, as well as the entire Minnesota community during this period of change and transition. We are working closely with KIS to introduce next-generation solutions for improving delivery of on-site interpreting services and, when appropriate, quality access to video interpreting as a resource. CSD has been developing web and mobile software designed to improve the service experience for everyone involved in the delivery of interpreting services from the customer to the interpreter to the deaf community end users. We will be making this technology available statewide in Minnesota through our new partnership with KIS.
CSD remains devoted to the community in Minnesota, and we are thrilled to be able to deepen our roots in the state by expanding our operational presence through our new partnership with KIS. Members of our national leadership team will be spending time in Minnesota in the weeks ahead to provide additional information—both about our local presence, as well as our global vision for our community.CSD remains devoted to the community in Minnesota,
and we are thrilled to be able to deepen our roots in the state.
Thank you all for being a part of our journey. We deeply appreciate your support and your contributions to our wonderful community.
Chief Executive Officer
By Ryan Hutchison
After an exhausting and exhilarating trip it sure is good to be back home in America. I sorely missed my family, but was surprised how much I missed Mexican food. Maudies Tex-Mex, seems you’ve become an integral part of my daily digestive life and need to be promoted to my holiday card list! We worked hard during our trip with little time to see China as tourists. But as hometown boy, I HAD to make time to catch two Seattle Seahawks playoff games. I’ll always remember waking at 3:45 am to watch our Seahawks successfully battle against the Packers at Shanghai’s Camel Bar alongside a rowdy, 30-strong Shanghai “12th Man” contingent.
By Ryan Hutchison
Today, America’s Deaf community stands on the shoulders of leaders like Laurent Clerc, I King Jordan, Ben Soukup, and countless others who fought tirelessly to advocate for and demand the civil rights we benefit from as Deaf Americans. While we’ve come a long way, tremendous challenges remain that all Deaf Americans must overcome to fully realize their dreams.