SSP Services

SSP Overview

Whether you’re dining in a restaurant, using public transit or attending a meeting, it can be tough to get a complete picture of a situation without access to visual and aural cues. What specials are listed on the menu? Was there an announcement about a delay on the train? How many people are at the conference table?

Support service providers, commonly referred to as SSPs, are specially trained guides who can make sure that you have all the facts you need to make good choices, relaying environmental information to you in your preferred language and communication mode. Functioning as sighted guides, they can reduce communication barriers and help you to be more independent. With an SSP, the choices are always yours. SSPs simply give you access to all the visual and aural details available to enable you to make informed decisions.


The SSP Office recruits and trains providers, and arranges for them to assist students with activities in the communities surrounding HKNC headquarters and throughout the greater Long Island/New York City area.

An SSP can be a real asset during all kinds of community outings —from going food shopping to getting a haircut to sightseeing—providing you with important environmental information and communication support to help you accomplish what you set out to do. To request the assistance of an SSP, contact Eileen Ward, recreation specialist, at eileen.ward@hknc or Tom Burke, residence coordinator, at

Find out how to become an SSP

SSPs in Your Community

During your training at HKNC, you will compile a book of community resources ─ including information about SSPs, volunteers and special transportation services for people with disabilities─ for use when you return home.

Recognizing the important role that SSPs can play in the lives of people who are deaf-blind, HKNC’s regional offices advocate for SSP programs in their areas. Your regional rep can help you search for SSP programs in your community.

Find your Regional Rep


Programs are open to individuals who are deaf-blind as defined in the Helen Keller Act. Government funding often is available. Your regional representative can answer questions about admission requirements, transportation, funding sources and more. 

Find Your Regional Rep