What is an SSP or CoNavigator?

According to the Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults (HKNC) website:

A Support Service Provider (SSP) (also known as a Conavigator or CN) is a specially trained individual who provides information and access to individuals who are DeafBlind. The SSP is not an aide or a caretaker and does NOT do for the individual but rather provides access so the individual can do for themself. There are a number of strategies and techniques that are used to provide this access. The DeafBlind individual will determine what strategy or technique they prefer to use in any given situation. SSPs should be well-versed on all methods so that they may meet the needs of any DeafBlind individual with whom they are working. Contact your HKNC rep to find out if your state has an SSP program.

  • Support Service Providers (SSPs) provide a vital human connection to information that is missed when one has limited or no vision and limited or no hearing. This white paper examines the history of SSP services, the role of the SSP, why the SSP is necessary, and the process of establishing these services.

  • Learn the differences between these very important roles.

  • This three-part instructional video series focuses on the role of a Support Service Provider (SSP).

  • Esta series de videos instructivos de tres partes se enfoca en el Proveedor de Servicios de Soporte (SSP).

  • This tool kit was developed by a subcommittee of the SSP National Community of Practice (NCOP) facilitated by the Helen Keller National Center. Across the United States, there are many committees, task forces and individuals trying to establish SSP or CoNavigator programs. The process is more than a little daunting. Where to begin? Who can help? What has already been accomplished to make the process easier in these communities and states?

    The Helen Keller National Center has created the SSP Toolkit to guide states new to the process. In addition, there are a number of resources, links to existing legislation, sample program guidelines, and so much more. The goal is for everyone who desires these services to have access. These tools/resources are here to help.