DHCC advocate in a variety of ways, working towards equal communication access for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
What We Do
DHCC’s mission is to promote communication accessibility, equality and cultural awareness to the Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities. Advocacy is an important part of achieving this mission. The staff at DHCC advocate in a variety of ways, working towards equal communication access for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the legislation referred to most to support the provision of communication access.
There are two types of advocacy – Personal Advocacy and Systemic Advocacy.
Personal advocacy assists an individual to obtain services that are his/her legal right, such as sign language interpreters. DHCC staff provide personal advocacy on behalf of a Deaf or hard of hearing individual in situations involving communication inequality.
If any place of public accommodation (such as a doctor’s office, educational institution), employer or any entity that receives federal funding rejects your request for a sign language interpreter, a DHCC staff member can call the business to advocate for your needs. DHCC staff members will provide specific information regarding the service provider’s responsibilities according to the ADA or other relevant legislation. DHCC also provides written material and directs the service provider to appropriate internet resources for additional information when necessary.
Systemic advocacy changes systems, services, and legislation in the cause of justice and human rights. For Deaf and hard of hearing consumers, the goal is usually to improve access to services. Systemic advocacy activities include participation as a member of a coalition of many organizations working for a specific cause, working in partnership with Deaf and hard of hearing consumer groups, responding to new legislation, and other related activities.
Laws and Knowing Your Rights
The best form of advocacy for Deaf and hard of hearing people is self-advocacy, fighting for your rights! You must be aware of the laws that protect your civil rights and be aware of how to exercise those rights.