The philosophy of SSPNJ is grounded in the assumption that all people are created equal and that human relationships thrive when the community is accessible to all. As such, SSPNJ supports the rights of deafblind persons in accessing their environment and community.
SSP-NJ services are for self-directed adults who are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services from the New Jersey Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired. Eligible participants receive 16 hours of SSP services each month. There is no charge to eligible consumers for our services.
Because our program is funded with federal vocational rehabilitation money, our focus is employment and sustaining independent living in the community. Many activities support this goals and are listed on our Approved Activities list.
WHAT IS AN SSP?
Support Service Providers (SSPs) working in the SSPNJ Program are trained professionals who have satisfactorily completed our 3-module, 10-hour training program. The relationship between the deafblind person and the SSP is a partnership based on trust and open, honest and comfortable communication.
The key responsibilities of an SSP are to:
- Relay visual and environmental information in the deafblind person’s preferred language and communication mode.
- Serve as a human guide while walking and on public transportation, paratransit, or taxi or other hired service.
- Facilitate communication. This is done in the deafblind person’s preferred language and communication mode.
New Jersey’s SSPs strive to maintain a high level of professional standards. The SSPNJ Code of Professional Conduct provides principles of ethical behavior and best-practices guidelines for SSPs working within the SSPNJ Program.
SSPs are not employees of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired or The College of New Jersey; rather, they are paid, independent contractors. They provide support at home, at work and in the community.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILTIES OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
SSPNJ strives to provide a valuable service that meets the needs of New Jersey’s deafblind residents. With that goal in mind, SSPNJ requires and values the participation of every person who uses our services. All SSPNJ program participants:
- Take responsibility for selecting and scheduling their own SSPs
- Manage and direct the services of their SSPs
- Rate their satisfaction with every SSP assignment
- Participate in program evaluations
For a comprehensive description of the SSPNJ program, please click here (PDF).