Deaf Support Specialist
A Deaf Support Specialist is responsible for advocating, educating and promoting community awareness on the issues that pertain to the Deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing communities. Their duties involve assisting Deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers with independent living skills, informing them of community services, and educating them in terms of their rights as they relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally they can assist in locating the latest rehabilitative and/or assistive technological devices. A Deaf Support Specialist is not a Sign Language Interpreter; although, some interpreting may be required which is why our program requires that Deaf Support Specialists take Interpreting I to become familiar with the interpreting process. A Deaf Support Specialist must also work as a cultural mediator when working with consumers who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing.
A Deaf Support Specialist (DSS) may find employment in a variety of settings. They may work in the educational field as a paraprofessional, tutor or educator. Additionally they can also work as a job coach for companies or government agencies that employ Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals. They may also have the opportunity to work for an agency or organization that provides an array of services for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
This degree may also benefit students who plan on pursuing their Bachelor’s degree in a field where they may possibly encounter Deaf or hard-of-hearing consumers. Those occupations may include Deaf education or special education teacher, social worker, counselor, and vocational rehabilitation counselor.
The pay rate for a Deaf Support Specialist will depend on degrees and/or certifications held as well as years of experience.