Monthly Archives: April 2011

Hearing Impaired and Church Services

Sign language interpreters at our church are placed in good visual lines to both read and see what is happening. More than one interpreter is needed, and they trade off, sometime with specialty in music for which they have been given words to an anthem or Bible reading for which they have been given advance references. Theological terms are different from regularly signed words, and references are available to help with this. Our church had several signing classes, and about eight persons became minimally proficient and some went on to do advanced study. If you hire interpreters, it costs from $100 up for a few hours, so this becomes a budget item for the general church rather than the worship budget. We also had a speech reading class that helped persons learn to place ideas under a topic for clues to what they were hearing.

Our minister uses big screen power point phrases and verses as illustration of his sermon. This helps speech readers understand categories and idea tags. Make sure the ministers face is well lighted and not in shadow.

A big need for persons with hearing impairments of any kind is socialization. Invite a group of persons who use sign language to lunch. Laugh at yourself at the awkward mistakes. The act of caring enough to do this sends a message of its own. Teach Sunday school teachers to use white board idea words and other visuals to help persons in their groups who are losing their hearing.

I hope this helps the persons who responded with questions on this topic.

The Texas Deaf Ear for Disabilities

There is no voice loud enough to yell at the State of Texas budget cuts to the disabled and elderly. You can’t yell at the cuts. You have to yell at people, but they are deaf. Care givers of persons with special needs and older persons have yelled, they have called, written, faxed, demonstrated to absolutely deaf ears and blind eyes. When nursing homes are closed along with group homes and the closure of two state institutions mandated by the Justice Department puts persons with disabilities on the streets, someone might notice. It will not be our state representatives or the governor. They are in their cool offices drinking Starbucks coffee. It will be the general public saying, “Why didn’t someone tell me?”

We are telling you now. It is heartless, shameful and wrong to take away the foundations and futures of all these people and their parents. Yes, I am angry. Because I hear and see the terror of parents and loved ones who have had the rug pulled out from under them. Their safety net is gone.

The economic impact will also be felt across the state. Intellectually disabled persons who have no place to spend their days in work and transitional programs must stay home with a caregiver who will have to quit a job to be there. These are the caregivers who work to save a nest egg for the aging years of their loved one. In another area, thousands of workers will be laid off from care, work and nursing centers. We are about to see a huge drain on the government for unemployment. Has this been figured in by those in Austin? I doubt it.

If you haven’t faxed or called your representative, now is the last minute. This is definitely a rainy day.