Deaf Access Services Becomes an Affiliate of People Inc.
Collaboration to provide increased services to a wider audience
On February 12, 2019, the Board of Directors for Deaf Access Services (DAS) voted to become an affiliate of People Inc. in preparation for a more competitive service delivery environment. The affiliation with People Inc., the region’s largest health and human services agency, will provide the best possible supports to people receiving services from DAS and the staff who support them. This partnership allows both organizations to pool resources to meet growing demands, enhance collaborative power, expand services for a broader geographic reach, improve capacity to deliver more services and enrich Deaf services already delivered through People Inc.
As an affiliate of People Inc., Deaf Access Services will continue to provide services through their experienced staff and interpreters. The partnership will showcase the power of collaboration and will allow continuation of the legacy created by the Deaf community. It will also provide cost benefits by efficiently combining office operations, such as administration, finance and human resources.
“This affiliation is very exciting for the board and staff of Deaf Access Services. This is an opportunity for us to honor the history created by Buffalo’s Deaf leaders, while developing critical new services and reaching more people,” said Pamela Kefi, executive director, Deaf Access Services.
This affiliation is mutually beneficial. Together, the agencies will explore improved access to health and mental health services for the Deaf community, enhanced services for older adults and increased employment opportunities for the Deaf community. “By addressing our key audiences, in particular for people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, we will be able to enhance the awareness of our services and strengthen our community outreach,” said Rhonda Frederick, president and CEO, People Inc.
DAS serves over 600 people through various programs, has 12 employees, 100 contract interpreters and partners with over 700 service providers. Services include: In-Person Interpreting, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), American Sign Language classes, community services navigation and advocacy, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), assistive technology supports, employment placement, specialized Deaf refugee services, and Life Skills and Literacy adult education classes.
Formed in 1983 by a group of dedicated Deaf leaders and volunteers concerned about the welfare of the Deaf community, Deaf Access Services is the only local community organization solely dedicated to serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Deaf Access Services envisions a community where all people experience equality, empowerment and inclusion to lead lives full of possibilities.
People Inc., a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, provides programs and services to more than 12,000 people, not only with developmental disabilities, but other special needs, their families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted individuals to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity. With nearly 4,000 employees, People Inc. is one of the region’s largest employers. To learn more, visit people-inc.org, follow People Inc. on Facebook or Twitter @PeopleIncNews.