Why do we need a Deaf Center in Alaska?
- Persons who are deaf & hard of hearing in Alaska no longer have a location or place to call their own. The community speaks of integration, yet there is no possible way that generalized community centers can effectively accommodate persons of all disabilities.
- Persons who are deaf need appropriate and effective communication and support to feel a part of their community. Currently there is no single community resource in Alaska where a deaf person can go to receive assistance in translating standard English to American Sign Language (ASL), assistance in understanding legal documents, updates on news, receive support in independent living or socialize.
- The hearing community is unaware of the needs of the deaf as their ability to communicate is ever present.
- The deaf community is asking for a place to congregate; a safe haven with resources accessible to persons in remote locations via video conferencing. A place where people can become connected and feel a part of the Alaskan community.
How many people are in isolation?
The Governor’s Council on Disability recently analyzed the level of need in Alaska.
SIPP DATA for the State of Alaska shows there is an estimated 25,707 persons in Alaska who are deaf or hard of hearing in need of support.
- Individuals over the age of 5 who are “functionally deaf” (those identified as being unable to hear normal conversation, even with the use of a hearing aid, or as deaf): 0.38%, or 2,394.
- Individuals over the age of 5 who are “hard of hearing” (those identified as having some difficulty hearing normal conversations even with the use of a hearing aid): 3.7%, or 23,313.
We are asking for your support to fund a state of the art Deaf Center for Alaskan Citizens. A center that provides resources, networking peer support, Independent living training, employment training, interpreter services and a host of other resources.
The Alaska Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind Council’s Vision is:
The time to act is now. Our deaf center will be maintained well into the future due to the collaboration of local Alaska non-profits that will provide volunteer and paid support, as well, a social enterprise whose profits will allow the deaf center to remain sustainable for future generations.
For more information please visit Alaska Deaf Center website.