NEWS RELEASE: New Communication Access Card for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind persons in Hawaii

Posted on Sep 19, 2018 in Latest News

HONOLULU — A new tool for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or deaf-blind is now available statewide. Developed by the Hawai‘i State Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB), the new Communication Access Card is a quick, convenient, and comfortable way for individuals with communication access needs to self-advocate for their preferred communication method.

“This new card can make a big difference for everyone in Hawai‘i by improving our communication during conversations involving individuals who have difficulty hearing or are unable to hear, said Francine Wai, DCAB executive director. “The Communication Access Card can provide a quick and clear understanding of an individual’s preferred method of communication and reduce uncomfortable or awkward situations.”

The card is a valuable tool at work, while traveling, at events, for emergency preparedness, and in everyday situations where individuals with communication access needs face barriers and difficulties due to others not understanding that they require alternate methods to communicate effectively. The card can be individually customized by the user to show his/her name, identity as deaf, hard-of-hearing, or deaf-blind, and preferred communication method(s). Methods include sign language interpreting, writing, texting, lipreading, large print, and/or using an assistive listening device. The card also includes quick tips for people who want to improve their communication with the individual bearing the card.

Communication Access Cards are available at no cost in two sizes. One is a standard business card size (3.5 by 2 inches when folded) which easily fits in a wallet or phone pocket. The other is a larger visor-sized card (8.5 by 5.5 inches) to keep in a vehicle’s visor or glove compartment to prepare for emergencies.

DCAB emphasizes that the Communication Access Card cannot be used as an official state identification card. Communication Access Cards are not numbered and no agency will keep a record of individuals in possession of the card. Individuals with this card may use it to self-disclose their status. DCAB is not responsible for providing services listed on the card.

Where are the cards available?

All cards are free for pick up at the DCAB office:

Disability and Communication Access Board
1010 Richards Street, Room 118
Honolulu, HI 96813

DOH District Health Offices on Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui will also have the cards available for pick up free of charge.
Communication Access Cards are also available at:

Kauai District Health Office
3040 Umi Street
Lihue, HI 96766
Phone: (808) 241-3495

Maui District Health Office
State Office Building
54 South High Street Rm. #301
Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793
Phone: (808) 984-8200

Hawaii District Health Offices
Hilo
75 Aupuni Street #201
Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: (808) 974-6006

Kona
79-1015 Haukapila Street
Kealakekua, HI 96750
Phone: (808) 322-4880

Waimea
67-5189 Kamamalu St.
Kamuela, HI 96743
Phone: (808) 887-8114

The cards are also free for pick up at various locations statewide, including the Comprehensive Service Center for People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf-Blind and Vocational Rehabilitation offices. A complete list of locations can be found at health.hawaii.gov/dcab/communication-access/.

What do the Communication Access Cards look like?

Business card size (3.5 by 2 inches when folded):

Vehicle visor size (8.5 by 5.5 inches):

Where can I go for more information?

More information about the Communication Access Card can be found on DCAB’s website at health.hawaii.gov/dcab/communication-access/. All inquiries can be made by contacting DCAB via email at communicationaccess@doh.hawaii.gov or by phone at (808) 586-8121 (Voice) or (808) 829-3641 (Video Phone).

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Media Contact:

Francine Wai
Executive Director
Phone: (808) 586-8121
E-Mail: dcab@doh.hawaii.gov
Website: health.hawaii.gov/dcab