Last week I had my first real experience with a SSP, or Support Service Provider. I've had more casual experiences with guides but this was my first requested one. I've also had "intervenors" for the summers growing up but never considered them "guides".
A Support Service Provider is a relay between the Person who is Deafblind and the environment around them. They relay audio as well as visual clues, such as how a room is laid out, who's in the room & what's being said. They are not professional interpreters & cannot interpret legal, medical or other important information, only the "gist" of things.
The SSP can pick you up to run errands, take you to appointments, or shopping and such, but they cannot drop you off and leave you (it's not a taxi service). They can help around. The house such as read your mail to you, make phone calls for you, help label things, but they cannot do the work for you, for example they'll tell you of a stain on the wall, but they cannot scrub it for you.
In Oklahoma I qualify for 12 hours a month of SSP services, I can manage the house & kids & "life" during the other 112 waking hours. But what about those other people who are Deafblind & don't have family to rely on? 3 hours a week is not enough to maintain independence and depression and loneliness is a cruel side effect.
So if you're studying ASL, please consider it, consider becoming an SSP.
Under My Fingertips
I have been Deaf & legally Blind since birth. I've been married to my hearing Husband for 15 years and we have 2 hearing children, a boy 14, and a girl 12.