Wright State University has selected Nefsis’—an online services company—cloud-based HD video conferencing service for the university’s long distance treatment counseling program known as “Deaf Off Drugs and Alcohol” (DODA).
DODA is a grant-funded project to improve alcohol and drug treatment services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. DODA counselors, case managers and coordinators are all American sign language (ASL)-fluent and knowledgeable about deaf culture, Nefsis says.
High-definition video conferencing provided by Nefsis are to support online meetings that connect counselors to patients who are dispersed across the country, so they can see the signers on-screen. Nefsis automatically secures video conferences with end-to-end encryption that helps organizations like DODA comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 (P.L.104-191).
“One of the most important parts of treatment is communication,” said Susan Fraker, director of DODA, who added, “The DODA team chose Nefsis video conferencing for its ease of use, multi-user capabilities, and high-quality video, which deaf people rely on for effective communication with their treatment providers.”
With the ease-of-use of browsing the web, the Nefsis video conferencing cloud provides all the resources necessary for multipoint video mixing, firewall and proxy traversal for desktops, and live collaboration tools. To get the same functionality prior to cloud computing required heavy investment in proprietary infrastructure equipment including video routers, multichannel units and gateway servers.
Most deaf people have videophones, but that technology limits the program’s counseling reach and does not provide access to the group counseling, education and peer support that are crucial to recovery.
For all of the Ohio patients in their program, DODA uses Nefsis to offer weekly group counseling sessions with a counselor who is fluent in ASL. The average patient is located about 140 miles away from the DODA center, which helps to keep those patient in their communities. With Nefsis video conferencing, DODA also offers online peer mentoring in 12-step meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The main office sets the meeting times, and the deaf recovery community leads the online meetings, which have become an ASL opportunity for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in recovery anywhere in the country.
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