Friday, February 26, 2010

Deaf Services Commission of Iowa Celebrates 35 Years with New Web site and Videophone

Deaf Services Commission of Iowa Celebrates 35 Years with New Web site and Videophone

Deaf Services Commission of Iowa (DSCI) of the Iowa Department of Human Rights is proud to announce an enhanced, newly designed Web site featuring information in American Sign Language (ASL) and access to Commission services through new videophone technology.

Access to language is a basic human right, and providing critical information to deaf persons in their native language greatly enhances understanding. Tax law changes, timely information about medical issues like H1N1, becoming familiar with the U.S. Census and what it means are all examples of information that most citizens take for granted. DSCI is committed to providing information in ASL, allowing Deaf citizens to access news that most people learn about incidentally. Our newly designed Web site features embedded videos which are closed captioned and/or signed in ASL Deaf Services Commission of Iowa.

Deaf Services Commission of Iowa is also pleased to announce new videophone technology in our offices. Videophones produce a video image on screen that allows people to make "phone" calls by signing to each other. This technology allows Deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate more efficiently and more naturally. Citizens have commented that videophone access is extremely helpful, less stressful to use, and provides equal access to services and information. Staff videophone numbers are listed on the agency's Web site Deaf Services Commission of Iowa.

About 10% of Iowa's population experiences some range of hearing loss. Deaf Services Commission of Iowa strives for more effective ways to serve Iowa's citizens. Providing services and information in someone's native language is a giant step forward. Videophones and informational videos in ASL support equal access for Deaf and hard of hearing citizens with diverse perspectives, experiences, and abilities.

About the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa (DSCI) Deaf Services Commission of Iowa was established in 1975 under the Department of Public Health to plan, coordinate, and establish service projects to meet the needs of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Iowans. In 1986 it was reorganized to become a Commission in the Iowa Department of Human Rights. The Commission is proud to be celebrating 35 years of serving the citizens in the state of Iowa. The new site was designed and built in partnership with Iowa Interactive, LLC, under contract with the State of Iowa.