INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTER

Society’s Assets, Inc.

MIDDLETON, WI

SITUATION:

Society’s Assets, Inc. (SAI) is an independent living center that was established in 1974. The center provides comprehensive services to assist seniors and people of all ages who have disabilities and are living independently. SAI also provides Telecommunications Relay Services for Wisconsin in partnership with Hamilton Telecommunications.

Their mission is to ensure the rights of all persons with disabilities to live and function as independently as possible in the community of their choice, through supporting individuals’ efforts to achieve control over their lives and become integrated into the community life.

SAI’s Program Director for TRS, Billy Mauldin, who oversees the call center in Madison, Wisconsin is deaf and relies on a staff interpreter for meetings and day-to-day communication. One day when Mauldin scheduled a lengthy meeting with his boss, Executive Director of SAI, Bruce Nelsen, the staff interpreter called out sick leaving no time to find another interpreter.

“Having experiences with one-on-one meetings without an interpreter is possible” says Mauldin, however, “to lip-read for 2-3 hours, making sure there are no misunderstandings is a very tiring process”.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

To remedy the situation Mauldin contacted BISVRI and became a client. “BIS VRI was implemented immediately,” said Mauldin, “I had to fill out paperwork and fax it back to get a client ID number. BISVRI was very easy to use and I really like the part about picking my own VRI interpreter.”

RESULTS:

The VRI session lasted 3 hours. Mauldin chose to use “voice carry over”, a tool that allows a deaf/ hard of hearing person to speak for themselves while still utilizing the video interpreter to translate the hearing person’s spoken words to sign language.

“I could have used VRS but my boss prefers face to face meetings. For this situation, BISVRI was the perfect solution. Their outstanding Customer Service allowed me to have this meeting instead of canceling it. BISVRI also allowed the flexibility of having me speak to my boss while the VRI interpreter handled only the voice-to-sign translation.”

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