The Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living has received a grant to start a program training American Sign Language interpreters in trauma-informed interpreting, the Jacksonville Journal-Courier reports.
The agency received $20,000 to begin Deaf Wings, a program that serves deaf, hard of hearing and deaf and blind people who experience domestic violence and abuse.
“The project will help address the issue of domestic violence and sexual assault within the deaf community,” JACIL Executive Director Becky McGinnis said.
The center will work with law enforcement and advocacy agencies to coordinate training to work with deaf victims, she said.
Domestic violence can occur in any relationship, but it can affect those in the deaf community differently, McGinnis said.
“Deafness is an isolating disability,” she said. “Isolation is an easy technique to use because deafness itself is isolating from the community. We want to give them a way to get help. It’s hard for anyone to admit they’ve been assaulted. It can be harder when there is already a communication barrier.”
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