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Friday, April 14, 2017

Deaf Town Hall at GLCCB

Written by  Bill Redmond-Palmer

Strategies presented for increasing inclusion for the deaf and hard-of-hearing

LGBT deaf people are more often than not, left out of activities and events in the community. On March 31st, the GLCCB, Baltimore’s LGBT community center, took an important first step in addressing that problem, with a town hall focused on listening to the deaf community. The aim of the meeting was to ascertain what steps both the GLCCB and Baltimore Pride could take to better include and serve people who are deaf.

The main recommendation that emerged from the discussion was to hire a liason on tihs matter who would advise the GLCCB, maybe from monies raised in a fundraiser. As well, the importance of American Sign Language interpreters for events was noted. Many participants felt strongly that ASL classes are taught by a deaf person as opposed to a hearing one.

Ideally, some said, the GLCCB would form a “deaf council” to coordinate work in this area and conduct outreach and advertising of events to local LGBT deaf people. Such a council would also interview prospective interpreters for Pride and other events, to determine qualifications and areas of specialization.

At Pride, they recommended creating defined space at the stages and for the parade, so that all the deaf people attending could be in the line of sight of an interpreter. Two deaf participants at the town hall volunteered to help review upcoming Pride events, to help prioritize those most in need of interpreters, and identify the skill sets needed for each.

An event many would like to see at Baltimore Pride 2017? An ASL poetry showcase. Two people at the town hall volunteered to help coordinate that event.

For more info, contact the GLCCB at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 410-777-8145

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