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CSD Participates in Angel Tree Program to Benefit Needy Children

This past holiday season, CSD and CSD Relay joined the Volunteers of America–Dakotas Program on their charitable holiday fundraiser known as the “Angel Tree.”


This year, CSD adopted a family of six and helped make their holidays a little brighter. The children were ages 8, 7, 4 and 2. The response from the two locations was overwhelming, which resulted in the children relishing their numerous unexpected gifts.


Besides the chosen family, the two Angel Trees were decorated with a total of 28 angels (children) to adopt, and CSD staff adopted all 28 angels and continued giving gifts even though no more were necessary. The surplus of gifts ranged from items for children such as dolls and educational toys, to pillows and blankets, to gift cards for the parents to buy groceries for the family.


CSD is dedicated to giving back to the communities where they live and work, and looks forward to bringing even more joy to needy families next holiday season.

CSD Leads Efforts to Draft New Video and TV Programming Legislation

CSD’s ongoing commitment to creating and providing deaf and hard of hearing communication access has led to the creation of an advocacy group called The Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology, or C.O.A.T. The group — joined by over160 national, regional and community-based affiliates — was formed with the purpose of advocating for legislative and regulatory safeguards that will ensure full access by people with disabilities to evolving technologies.


Some of the provisions in the amendment include discounts in broadband service for low income video relay service users, and also proposes to include Internet-based television programming, or Web casts, under the captioning mandates, so the millions who rely on captioning will not be left out.


“Trying to create communications access for people with disabilities ‘after the fact’ is an expensive and backwards-thinking paradigm,” said Ben Soukup, CSD chief executive officer. “Thanks to the legislation C.O.A.T. has created, the communications’ rights of people with disabilities is staying ahead of the curve.”


For more information about C.O.A.T., go to, and for more information about CSD, go to

CSD of Minnesota Goes Green for the Holidays

Seventeen employees from CSD and CSDVRS in St. Paul, Minn. started the holiday season by participating in a “Secret Santa” exchange this year.  However, Santa went “green” this holiday.  All of the gifts were recycled, re-gifted, inexpensive but useful or homemade. 


The participants each filled out a short questionnaire — with questions like “Target or Kohls?”, “My favorite sports team is,” “My favorite color is,” etc. — and turned it in, along with a stocking or holiday gift bag which was hung on the wall for the individual “Santas” to fill each day for two weeks based on the answers given.


Some of the gift ideas were re-gifted mittens from the prior year, a purse stuffed with Hershey’s Kisses, a decorated New York Yankee’s candle holder filled with cookies, and a snowman tin once full of candy but re-packed with an assortment of teas for a tea drinker.


Volunteers participated by playing the part of Santa’s elves and filled the stockings. Green Secret Santa ran for two weeks, culminating on Dec. 14 with a holiday luncheon and the discovery of each individual’s respective Santa.


CSD Launches Remote Interpreting Product

CSD’s interpreting division is now taking pre-scheduled remote interpreting assignments. This interpreting product, called Interpreting Online (IO), is the solution to many interpreting situations when an interpreter cannot physically attend the assignment. Increasingly, the demand for interpreters is high, while the number of interpreters doesn’t meet that demand, on both a national and local scale.  


With IO, all you need is a videophone, an Internet connection, and a TV/monitor, and CSD will provide you with a qualified video interpreter.


Recently, an IO pilot program was held in Aberdeen, S.D. for a high school student. The school currently has three deaf students but only two full-time interpreters. To fill the gap, an interpreter 300 miles away interprets the class while the student watches the interpreter on a monitor.  To read more about this story, go here:,65110


CSD plans to launch their IO product on a national level, and soon will take even those appointments like emergencies, which are not pre-scheduled. To learn more about IO, go to