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OFFICE OF SIGN LANGUAGE SERVICES (OSLS)

 

Mission: Create access for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing people to Denver government programs, services, and events by:

  • Providing sign language interpreting services, open captioning via Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), and Assistive Listening Devices for sound amplification to Denver government agencies upon request;
  • Engaging members of the Deaf and hard of hearing communities in Denver City and County government affairs;
  • Educating and consulting with City and County of Denver employees regarding their responsibility under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide access to the Deaf, DeafBlind and hard of hearing public;
  • Providing information and referral. 

 

PROVIDING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Per Federal legislation, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Deaf/ hard of hearing people are a protected class. Therefore, they are entitled to effective communication and equal access to all government programs, services, and events (ADA, Title II).  Effective communication access will often mean the provision of an auxiliary aid or service such as an interpreter, open captioning via Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART), or an assistive listening device (ALD) for sound amplification.

The Denver Office of Sign Language Services provides these auxiliary aids and services to Denver City and County government agencies at no cost, with a minimum of three (3) business days’ notice requested.  Last minute requests will be accepted but may result in the unavailability of an auxiliary aid or service.  

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Like all minority groups, Deaf people suffer from stereotyping by many who do not know and understand them. A number of myths about Deaf people circulate widely in our society and get in the way of understanding between hearing and Deaf people.

  • The term “deafness” or “hard of hearing” covers a wide range of hearing losses which have very different effects on a person's ability to process sound and understand speech. 
  • Hearing aids simply amplify sound. They have no effect on a person’s ability to process that sound. In cases where a hearing loss distorts incoming sounds, a hearing aid can do nothing to correct this and may even make the distortion worse. 
  • While some deaf people are very skilled lipreaders, 90% of deaf people do not read lips proficiently. This is because many speech sounds have identical mouth movements and are difficult to discern. On the average, lipreaders are catching approximately 25-30% accurately. 
  • The terms deaf and dumb and deaf mute are outdated and project a negative connotation of a person with a hearing loss. "Deaf" is the most common term used to describe a person with a severe to profound hearing loss; "hard of hearing" is used to describe a person with a mild to moderate hearing loss. 
  • Deaf people drive, shop, work, raise families; pursue hobbies, educational opportunities, and political ideals like any other member of American society

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CONTACT US

For questions about interpreters AID, CART, classes, referrals, or resources please contact:

Lorrie A. Kosinski, Director
201 W. Colfax Ave., Dept. 1102 -  2nd Floor
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (720) 913-8487
Mobile: (303) 880-3208
VP: (720) 458-8486
TTY: (720) 913-8484
lorrie.kosinski@denvergov.org

Swanhilda Lily, Deaf Programs Specialist
VP: (303) 327-9902
swanhilda.lily@denvergov.org

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
 

 

NEED HELP

Denver 311 Help Center Call 3-1-1
Outside Denver Call 720-913-1311
Emergencies: 911 
TTY Service: 720-913-8479

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