HOBART | Deaf Services Inc. has partnered with TradeWinds Services Inc. to expand its outreach and offer a variety of services and technologies for the deaf/hard-of-hearing community in Northwest Indiana.
The two organizations have moved into a new, shared facility at 3198 E. 83rd Place, TradeWinds relocating from Gary and Deaf Services moving from Merrillville.
“For over 35 years, Deaf Services has offered support, case management, education, advocacy and access to technology to individuals and families faced with issues related to the deaf and hard-of-hearing,” said Debra Pampalone, Deaf Services coordinator at TradeWinds. “Joining forces with TradeWinds will help us to reach even more people who live with hearing impairment on a daily basis.
“One of the most pressing needs is for interpreters to facilitate communication in business, legal, medical and personal situations. We have a large pool of qualified interpreters available and can arrange assistance as needed.”
Technology available to the deaf and hard-of-hearing has changed dramatically and DS offers use of a videophone room free of charge to the Northwest Indiana deaf community at its new location. Additionally, experienced staff can assist in choosing assistive listening devices such as telephones, alarms and signaling systems aimed at improving quality of life.
“Few people realize that there are special telecommunication devices available at no cost to deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired individuals in Indiana with an annual household income of less than $69,000," Pampalone said. "There are phones with amplified sound that offer texting, captioning and other features. DS can assist in the application for and training in the use of the right device.”
DS also provides training on deaf awareness and sensitivity, as well as American Sign Language classes to teach vocabulary and deaf culture that are ongoing at multiple locations in Northwest Indiana.
“We’re excited that Deaf Services has come under the TradeWinds umbrella,” said Jon Gold, CEO of TradeWinds. “This sort of partnership maximizes the options available to individuals who require special services and fits in perfectly with our ‘Doing More’ initiative.”
Contact Pampalone at (219) 945-0100, ext. 212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.