August Newsletter

Did you know?

Did you know that American Sign Language grammar is more similar to French than English?

Tanya shares what Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services is all about and the many services that are provided! 
She also shares how Catalyst Life Services combats the stigma associated with an individual’s hearing ability.

Click the image above to watch!

Q1: What is your title and how long have you worked at Catalyst? 

My title is Deaf Services Coordinator/Interpreter. And Sept 15th will be 12 years.   

Q2: Can you tell us a little bit about the services you provide to clients? 

Deaf services has always provided interpreting, Advocacy/Education, Leadership, Support Services and Summer Youth programming (until this year we took a break due to the lack of kiddos in our area).  

Honestly we do just about everything we can to assist our clients.  Sometimes that doesn’t fall under any of the categories that I mentioned. For example, a client, that has since passed; brought his entire fax machine into the office one day for me to fix it.  If anyone knows me I am not the person to ask to fix anything electronic. All I did was plug it in and turned it on and it seemed to work and he was pleased. He took it home and that was that. 

Deaf Services now offers a few extra programs such as WIP, Case Management & Pre-ETS.   

Q3: What might a ‘typical’ day look like to you as an interpreter? 

There truly is no “normal” day for interpreters. My day can be set when I leave for the day and by the time I wake up my entire day could be different. Maybe I had some office time and then a few medical appointments and some more office time scheduled.  Then I could have gotten a call that was we need an interpreter all day for a work training, or an emergency surgery. Or I could have gotten called out in the middle of the night. I’ve left work literally pulled in my drive and received a call to go back out. I later arrived home from that call and got another call less than 1 hour later and had to go out again. Arrived home AGAIN (lol) slept few a few hours and got up for my normal day.     

Q4: What is one of the most unique interpreting experience you’ve had? 

One of the most unique experiences I’ve had was when I first started interpreting and interpreted my first C-section. As an interpreter, you really have to have the stomach for anything and everything.  It was me having to relay every moment that was happening.  From the first time the doctor was making his incision, to what I was seeing and what the nurses and doctor were saying. Letting her know that they were pulling her child out and what that looked like. Sewing her up and keeping her updated with her child’s status as they cleaned and checked the baby. Imagine being strapped down to a table and not being able to hear a sound, or see what’s happening because there is a sheet up in front of you. Weird, right? That’s the exciting part for me. Knowing we as interpreters give them the experience they should have. The communication.   

Q5: What do you think is something most people do not know about Deaf Services? 

People truly have no clue how much work goes into scheduling for 9 counties.  The coordination of which interpreter can go to what assignment. Navigating time frames of the appointment and travel time. What if the appointment goes longer than expected? What if an emergency gets called in? What if one of the interpreters has to leave because they are sick? So many factors can change our day in a second. I know I constantly inform entities that we cover a large area and we are not always available last minute. However, over the years there has not been much we have not covered. We work hard to accommodate all the assignments we can.  

Meet the ASL Interpreters!

ASL Interpreters share their favorite part of their job at Catalyst Life Services!

“My favorite part of being an interpreter at Catalyst is that every day is different so I never get bored and I can always improve.”
-Tanya Haga

“My favorite part of being an interpreter is working in a variety of settings with people of all ages.”   
– Ruthie Good

 “The best part of being an interpreter for me is the way we can bring light to a situation whether it be a medical issue or mental health issue by finding conceptual ways of bringing that ‘aha moment’.”   
-Kori Serrano

“One of my favorite parts of being an interpreter is the variety of assignments, it keeps me on my toes.”    
-Carleigh Ison

“My favorite part of interpreting is getting to work in a variety of different settings and with different people every day.”   
-Whitney Rotter

 “My favorite part of being an interpreter is that I am always learning new things.”   
-Shelby Mills

  “My favorite part is getting to meet and help communicate with a variety of different people in a variety of different circumstances.”
-Molly Blackford

“My favorite part of being an interpreter is knowing that I’ve turned confusion into understanding by using a person’s preferred language so they don’t have to work as hard to communicate.” 
Diane Schmidt

“My favorite part about being an interpreter is experiencing all of the diverse and unique situations that I encounter and expanding my horizons by learning a little bit about all of the different things that I can.” 
-Rebekkah Broughton

Language Access: COVID-19 Impact

Stay in touch with the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing!

News for Recovery & Addiction Services

Addiction Physiology, Facts, and Future Hope

The New Beginnings Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services Team participated in a training titled “Addiction Physiology, Facts, and Future Hope,” by Dr. Joseph Bocka MD, Catalyst Life Services Withdrawal Management Medical Director.   Information regarding how opiates and other substances affect the brain, updates on medication assisted treatment, how to support those who are in early recovery, and new projects on the horizon including his new role providing addiction consult services for hospital employees. 

The event also provided staff with training on how to respond to an overdose.  Dr. Bocka secured NARCAN for each staff member to have for their own personal use.  Guy Daly, licensed social worker at New Beginning’s residential facilities provided information on his past experiences providing NARCAN as a firefighter and outreach coordinator.  Paige Rhodes, Withdrawal Management Nursing Director provided information on the process to provide NARCAN to clients leaving the withdrawal management center, residential facilities, and those in outpatient services.  This training comes at a critical time as information provided by the Richland County Opiate Review Board indicates that from 1/1/20 – 7/31/20 overdoses have increased by 32.12% and overdose deaths have increased by 43.48%.

Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is one tool to assist with combating the epidemic of opioid use—including prescription painkillers and, increasingly, heroin.  The complex issues surrounding addiction require a multi-pronged approach that involves reducing drug diversion, expanding delivery of existing treatments (including medication-assisted treatments), and development of new medications for pain that can augment our existing treatment arsenal. But another crucial component we must not forget is that people who abuse or are addicted to opioids need to be kept alive long enough that they can be treated successfully. In this, the drug naloxone has a large potential role to play.  It’s only meant to be a first line of defense during an overdose, because its antidote effect will wear off in 20–90 minutes. So naloxone really just buys time for the victim until they can be treated more thoroughly by licensed medical professionals. It may even need to be administered a second time if the victim stops breathing again. 

Some people have suggested that if naloxone were viewed as a safety net, it would encourage people to use more opioids. Several studies have demonstrated that this is simply not true — increased naloxone access has shown no increase in behaviors associated with opioid ingestion.   Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing the overdose crisis still impacting lives.  We know that nationwide both overdoses and overdose deaths are on the rise again.  People have lost their jobs and their health insurance leaving more people vulnerable.  On July 23rd, the FDA announced that it will require drug manufacturers to include information about naloxone on the labels of opioid painkillers.  Raising awareness for not only those who are addicted to opioids, but helping the public understand the lifesaving potential Narcan can provide, is a worthwhile venture. Addiction is treatable. But not if you’re dead.

Catalyst and many of our community partners, such as the Richland County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, help to ensure that residents of Richland County have access to quality care and services. 

As we continue to deal with the opioid epidemic, it is critical that we use all the tools available to save lives.  We know that with understanding and compassion, hope can grow. Ongoing training and education will let those who struggle with substance use know –  they are not alone and help is available.  Catalyst offers detox/withdrawal management services, residential gender specific services, outpatient groups, individual counseling, case management, peer support services, mental health and psychiatric services.  Send a question through our website or call our 24 hour Helpline at 419-522 HELP (4357).

Elaine Surber has served as Catalyst Life Services Executive Vice President, and Director of New Beginnings Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services since 2010.  As the Director of New Beginnings Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services, she provides administrative and clinical supervision, as well as program development and oversight. She currently serves as a member of the Richland County Opiate Board and the Ohio Alliance for Recovery Providers. .  Elaine has a bachelor’s degree in Substance Abuse Counseling from the University of Cincinnati.  She is a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC-CS) with clinical supervision endorsement.  She has over thirty years of experience working in the behavioral health field. 

Language Access: COVID-19 Impact

In the middle of March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Ohio, one barrier that became glaringly apparent was the lack of accessible language in many areas of society. This was shown through:

  • Masks blocking people’s faces so lip reading couldn’t happen and voices were muffled
  • Interpreters were limited from being brought into appointments when needed
  • Remote appointments were not always accessible due to a lack of interpreter or the platform not being user friendly

Now that we are four months down the road, here are a few tips to improve language access during the COVID-19 pandemic and any other time.

1. Being able to see the entire face is necessary for the grammar of American Sign Language. This means that a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing individual who uses American Sign Language to communicate will need to have their face seen by the interpreter and be able to see the face of the interpreter in order to have full language access. Access to and ability to use clear face masks or shields is necessary in order to make sure the language is accessible.

2. Face masks muffle the voice of the speaker. This means that the speaker may need to repeat themselves often and/or speaker louder in order to be heard by a hard-of-hearing individual who uses their residual hearing/hearing aids/cochlear implants for language access. These same individuals often read lips as well. Having access to be able to do this by having the speaker use a clear face mask or shields is necessary in order to make sure the language is accessible.

3. Families and friends are not appropriate interpreters for a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing individual who uses American Sign Language. Interpreters are required to follow the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Code of Professional Conduct, receive education on American Sign Language and the interpreting process and laws, and trainings focused on interpreting. Professional American Sign Language interpreters are required to remain unbiased, interpret fully, and maintain confidentiality. Family and friends cannot fit all of these requirements, even if they can sign.

4. Video remote interpreters may not be the best choice for appointments. Deaf and hard-of-Hearing individuals who communicate using American Sign Language may not be able to see the video remote interpreter on the screen, may not understand the video remote interpreter, or may prefer a live in-person interpreter for many reasons. Another issue is that locations that choose to use video remote interpreters often don’t know how to use the equipment effectively, which can be very frustrating to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individual. When determining language access, these concerns need to be taken into consideration.

Contact us!

Catalyst Life Services Community Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing provides 24/7 American Sign Language interpreting in the counties of Ashland, Crawford, Huron, Knox, Marion, Morrow, Richland, Seneca, and Wyandot. For more information, please call (419) 774-2232.

Tanya Haga is the Director of Deaf Services and has worked at Catalyst Life Services since 2014 in this role. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in American Sign Language Interpreting, a Master’s of Education and Master’s in Business Administration. She is also nationally certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Tanya’s responsibilities include management and oversight of interpreting, captioning, case management for clients with a hearing loss, sign language classes, summer youth program, and contract and grant projects.