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CSD Recognizes Two Texas Hospitals

CSD of Texas recognized two hospitals for their commitment to serving deaf and hard of hearing patients. They applauded Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) for "consistently recognizing, for more than 13 years, the impact on the deaf consumer that securing a qualified sign language interpreter has on the overall quality of medical care." ARC works closely with CSD interpreter referral specialists to ensure the best interpreters are available, are highly certified and even for same day and last-minute appointments.

The 2006 Communication Advocate Award was presented during ceremonies last October in Austin, marking both the 60th anniversary of the Austin Association of the Deaf and the 150th anniversary of the Texas School for the Deaf.

CSD also recognized South Austin Hospital. Barbie Parker, outreach specialist for CSD said, "For the first time ever we have presented the Communication Advocate Award to two businesses that have shown consistent care for the deaf community in Austin. Both have showed such a degree of commitment to the community that we could not decide on just one."

CSD Partners With Minnesota On Activities For Deaf

CSD of Minnesota and St. Paul Recreation are working together to provide recreation and fitness activities for deaf and hard of hearing residents in the Twin Cities. Among these activities: kickboxing, yoga and water aerobics. Classes are taught on Tuesdays and Saturdays. At least 30 families attend the monthly Deaf Swim and Gym at Arlington High School. They say the growing health craze has finally embraced the deaf community as they want more classes during the week, and plan to add deep water aerobics and family yoga. Other areas including St. Cloud and Faribault are now requesting similar recreational opportunities in their area.

CSD Call Centers Conduct Food Drive

All CSD call centers across the U.S. held their fifth annual food drive to support the communities in which they do business. Each year this campaign receives more and more attention from CSD’s employees and the communities in which they reside. A total of 21,784 items were donated this year over a two-week period by operators working in the centers.

CSD has always been strong believers in giving back to not only the community in which we serve, but as well to the members of the community that are less fortunate.

Health Services In Minnesota

Community Health Workers (CHW) programs are popular and growing in Minnesota as well as other states. Jessalyn Frank, community specialist at CSD of Minnesota and a CHW student at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, attended a workshop, "Addressing Breast Cancer in Your Community," in October presented by certified CHWs. The workshop covered obstacles and issues facing individuals in different communities, how to address language minority communities, bridge gaps in educating communities and connect them with services. The workshop also included hands-on participation and interaction with other service providers. Among topics discussed were breaking down literacy, finding ways to share information with individuals, statistics of breast cancer, services for those who do not have insurance, programs that educate about breast cancer and key parts of prevention.

Domestic Violence Community Support Program In Oklahoma

CSD of Oklahoma is heading major efforts in supporting providers of services for deaf and domestic violence victims. Their community support program assists domestic violence and other support service providers in learning about, and understanding, the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. They increase awareness through on-site and phone consultation, classes, workshops and training sessions. Among its services to responders to domestic violence: deaf awareness, TTY/Videophone training, video remote interpreting (VRI) training, American Sign Language (ASL) classes, assistance in accommodating victims, technical assistance, referrals and advocacy. They have operated the program with the U.S. Department of Justice for three years and also in second year of obtaining VAWA state grants.

A few challenges they face are: getting an interpreter for court due to shortage of interpreters, and poor compensation to interpreters due to established court rates. The rewards are having clients successfully leave their abuser.

Remembering Deaf People Who Died Of AIDS

Jessalyn Frank, community specialist with CSD of Minnesota, hosted CSD of Minnesota World Aids Day at Thompson Hall on December 1. This event not only took place at Thompson Hall, but also all over the world to empower knowledge and to remember those who have died of AIDS. This event in the Twin Cities was made possible by a grant from Hugh J. Andersen.

Hostess Sarah Houge handed out ribbons and program books followed by a PowerPoint presentation and introduction by Frank on the meaning of World Aids Day, the red ribbon and how it originated, and the Quilt's meaning, the symbolic message of the loss of many lives. Albert Walla was guest speaker and shared his 25 years of stories where he witness first-hand many friends who have died of AIDS.

Dann Trainer led a candle light vigil with battery-operated candles and participants spoke of those who died of AIDS or how they felt about the event. A voice interpreter was present for hearing individuals. "It is a good feeling," Frank said, "when you see people talk or sign about what they have learned from this kind of event, this indicates that your goal of getting the message out there is succeeding."