AUSTIN, Texas, April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — COVID-19 may be relatively new, but the language access challenges faced by the deaf and hard of hearing community are not. Nonprofit organizations that serve the deaf and hard of hearing community spend a lot of time – and money – thinking about accessibility. Information and services about the pandemic, healthcare, housing, education, or employment are generally translated into multiple languages, but American Sign Language is rarely one of them. The CSD Unites Community Foundation, led by Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), is awarding six microgrants, totaling $50,000, to organizations serving deaf communities providing essential, potentially life-saving resources for their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We depend on individual donations and grants," said Rowan O’Dougherty, Board President of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services. "Our mission focuses on advocacy and education. The Foundation’s grant allows us, in partnership with our local health department, to set up a clinic for our community where they can get the COVID-19 vaccine."
The Unites Community Foundation’s 2021 COVID-19 Resiliency Efforts, sponsored by CSD along with individual donations from community members, will support the following the six organizations and their respective community projects:
- DeafHope – Oakland, California: financial support for Deaf survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
- Deaf Refugee Advocacy – Rochester, New York: outreach to Deaf refugees and online connectivity for families and their virtual learning needs.
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services – Kentwood, Michigan: providing support to individuals who face language and accessibility barriers in registering for COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Partnership for Families, Children and Adults – Chattanooga, Tennessee: rent, utilities, food, medication, and transportation assistance for families in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia.
- DeafCAN!, Christ the King Deaf Church – West Chester, Pennsylvania: Nepali Sign Language (NSL) interpretation for the area’s large Deaf Bhutanese population which has struggled with isolation and healthcare access during the pandemic.
- Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children – Shoreline, Washington: improving literacy skills for Spanish-speaking children and their families.
"It was important for the Foundation to award our microgrants to organizations supporting smaller, underserved communities because we know people in marginalized communities will feel the effects of the pandemic for years to come," said Sasha Ponappa, Director of CSD Unites.
To continue supporting nonprofits serving deaf communities, the Foundation welcomes donations year-round. Those who are unable to donate money are encouraged to share and raise awareness about the Foundation with their friends and families.
The Unites Community Foundation will be spotlighting each organization and its community work over the next few months. To learn more about the 2020 cohort of COVID-19 Resiliency Efforts microgrant recipients and all the progress they’ve made, visit the Foundation’s website.
About CSD Unites Community Foundation
CSD Unites Community Foundation dreams of working collaboratively with deaf communities and the organizations that serve them to achieve long-term and widespread impact. The Foundation invests in community-driven initiatives that effect systemic change and create opportunities for our deaf peers. These investments are made via the disbursement of grants, facilitation of capacity-building networks, and support of community mobilization efforts. To learn more, visit our website, check out our media kit, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
About Communication Service for the Deaf
Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) is the largest deaf-led social impact organization in the world. For more than four decades, CSD has been a leader in creating and providing accessible and innovative solutions for the deaf community. Today, CSD continues its work to create opportunities for personal and economic growth within the deaf community, specifically addressing leadership and employment. CSD’s ongoing work with dozens of passionate groups and advocates from around the country is paramount to achieving the vision the Unites Community Foundation has today. For more information, please visit CSD’s website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
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SOURCE Communication Service For The Deaf, Inc