Coordinating Unit for the State of Indiana ASL Interpreting Services
American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting needs are found in all sectors of the lives of the Deaf and hard of hearing communities. LUNA has the privilege of being able to provide interpreting services in many of those areas including interpreting needs that are provided by the State of Indiana.
Beginning July 1, 2014, LUNA Language Services is the Coordinating Unit for state funded ASL interpreting and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) needs across the entire state of Indiana. The particular contract is housed in the Deaf and hard of hearing Services division of the Family and Social Services Administration. It is designed to provide communication access to the Deaf and hard of hearing communities in three general areas:
1. Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Vocational Rehabilitation is a state program that supports Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults to obtain or retain employment. The overarching goal of VR is to encourage clients to achieve a greater level of independence in their work place and living environments. For many Deaf or hard of hearing individuals this means that communication access is allowed through this contract in the form of interpreting or CART services in post-secondary education, trade schools and employment venues. For more information about Vocational Rehabilitation Services, please visit the State of Indiana Website.
2. Interpreter Service Program
Deaf and hard of hearing individuals accessing the Interpreter Service Program (ISP) are ensured equal access to state government agencies and events. This means, for example, if a Deaf consumer needs to take the written test at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the state of Indiana will provide communication assistance through this ISP and LUNA will act as the Coordinating Unit to ensure access is provided. For more information about the Interpreter Service Program, please visit the State of Indiana website.
3. Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS)
Deaf or hard of hearing employees of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Service (BRS) agencies will often have their own interpreting needs related specifically to their state job. Staff meetings, trainings and other agency meetings are among some of the types of interpreting needs that fall under this category. Those individuals are provided services through the Deaf and hard of hearing Services office at the state and the Coordinating Unit will provide communication access for those individuals. For more information about the Deaf and hard of hearing Services office, please visit its website.
Giving Back to the Deaf Communities through Partnership
LUNA is approaching the responsibilities of this contract with a collaborative model of partnering with other community agencies in an effort to service the Deaf and hard of hearing communities to the best of our abilities. We believe that by sharing resources among the different agencies across the region, we will have better success at fulfilling the duties of this contract on a local level. This approach also aims to respond to Deaf and hard of hearing community requests to be able to use local interpreters, as well as support their local Deaf community service organizations. You will find our partnering agencies in all corners of the state, as well as within the central Indiana area:
- The League of the Blind and Disabled (Deaf Link) – Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Communication Services for All Deaf – Granger, Indiana
- Trade Winds Deaf Services – Merrillville, Indiana
- Connections – Evansville, Indiana
- Rauch, Inc. – New Albany, Indiana
- Easterseals Crossroads (Deaf Community Services) – Indianapolis, Indiana
Video Remote Interpreting
Embracing and maximizing technology is also an important component of this contract. This comes in the form of both video remote interpreting (VRI), as well as remote CART services. VRI and remote CART can be viable options in many interpreting settings. In an effort to enhance and increase the use of these services, LUNA will be using a customized online platform that will help facilitate VRI and remote CART in a simplified, secure and streamlined manner. LUNA will roll out this new platform in late Fall to early Winter of 2014 along with training for end-users.
There is a nationwide shortage of American Sign Language interpreters and Indiana is no exception. It is for this reason that LUNA will be collaborating with the three Interpreter Training Programs in the state, through the language access provided under this contract. We are thrilled to see what the future holds for the growth of the Indiana interpreting community by working with the students that graduate from the ASL interpreting programs at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Goshen College and Bethel College. Seasoned interpreters will blaze the trail for these up-and-coming interpreters by working alongside one another with the dual goal of both increasing the number of available and qualified interpreters and meeting the interpreting needs of the State of Indiana. Look towards ongoing events and announcements about these professional development opportunities and how you can get involved with ASL interpreting agencies.
Communication is Key
Importantly, LUNA wants to hear from you. If you have feedback for us about our services, or questions about our role as Coordinating Unit, please reach out to us. Our office is always open for visitors. We have a large interpreting staff available for access to our staff and resources and various other methods of receiving your feedback:
- Email: feedback@LUNA360.com
- 24-hour Customer Service Call Center: 317.341.4137
- Video Phone: 317.286.6382
As part of our effort to be transparent about handling grievances and complaints that might arise, our Grievance Policy is available to review.
We also encourage you to reach out to the Director of ASL Services and Education, Rebecca Buchan by email or cell/text (765.425.2012). If there is a matter you would prefer to discuss directly with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, please contact them directly. Contact information can be found at their website.