Per the December and January PAV installs, press releases have been sent to media outlets in the cities of Joliet, Ill.; Hibbing and Mankato, Minn.; Florence, Ore.; Athens, Ga.; Columbia, S.C.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Winchester, Va. While many of these PAV installs are at independent living centers, PAVs are also being placed at airports, universities, hospitals, and behavioral health centers.
CSD’s Project Endeavor Brings Videophone Accessibility to CSUN
Thanks to Project Endeavor, Public Access Videophones for deaf and hard of hearing people are being installed nationwide in community anchors like Independent Living Centers and universities.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Jan. 31, 2012) — CSD staff installed two Public Access Videophones (PAV) for public use at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, in Northridge, Calif. One more is in the planning stages to be installed.
CSUN is home to the National Center on Deafness (NCOD). The NCOD has served over 2,500 students who are deaf and hard of hearing over the past 44 years. NCOD provides communication access, leadership opportunities, scholarships, academic advisement, tutoring, and direct communication classes for approximately 200 students who are deaf and hard of hearing each year. Established in 1964 on the campus of CSUN, NCOD was the first postsecondary program in the nation to provide paid sign language interpreters for deaf students. Since that time, the program has grown to be the largest of its type in the Western United States. (http://www.csun.edu/ncod/programs/mission.html.)
As part of Project Endeavor, CSD has been funded to install a limited number of PAVs at private, nonprofit organizations around the nation. These are high-quality, durable videophones, and this device allows deaf and hard of hearing people to make point to point, video relay service (VRS) and telecommunications relay service calls, or use the Internet to check e-mail, etc. CSD provides and installs PAVs at no cost to the organization or the consumer. As home to the NCOD, installing PAVs at CSUN made perfect sense.
Back in July 2010, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced CSD was awarded a multi-million dollar grant to make discounted high speed Internet accessible to the nation’s deaf and hard of hearing population, and the PAV is an integral part of the project. CSD titled this new program “Project Endeavor” (www.projectendeavor.com).
“CSD, per Project Endeavor, is placing approximately 200 of these PAV units in community anchors like deaf schools, vocational rehabilitation offices, and universities, for instance,” said Ben Soukup, CSD chief executive officer. “It’s such a boon for deaf people — for deaf consumers — to enter these public facilities and access a PAV to make VRS, TRS or point to point video calls. The organizations that provide the PAV for their consumers are proving that they aren’t only interested in making their facilities ‘physically’ accessible, but ‘communication’ accessible as well.”
Besides the PAV, eligible deaf and hard of hearing people can pick up new technology like the iPad2, Toshiba Thrive, Sprint handhelds, and even more, for up to 50 percent off retail prices. Subsidized broadband plans are also available. It’s all part of this groundbreaking program that brings Internet access to deaf and hard of hearing people, maximizes that access, and works towards sustaining long-term access once Project Endeavor comes to completion.
For more information about the PAV and Project Endeavor, go to www.projectendeavor.com. For more information about CSD, go to www.c-s-d.org. You can also find more information about CSUN at www.csun.edu.