Timeline of DAC

1975 - Founded
John & Elizabeth Criswell
A photo of Elizabeth and John Criswell, a white woman with short, grey hair wearing a long black dress and a white man with short, grey hair wearing a black tuxedo and glasses. They’re standing outside on a walkway with columns and plants behind them.

Deaf Action Center (DAC) was founded in 1975 by John and Elizabeth Criswell. Elizabeth, a child of deaf adults (CODA), had a strong connection to the deaf community here in Dallas and sought to fill a gap in services for deaf and hard of hearing adults. By establishing DAC, Elizabeth provided a safe place for deaf and hard of hearing seniors to gather and receive the physical, social, and emotional support they needed alongside other deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Elizabeth served as the first Executive Director of the organization and later as a member of the Board of Directors. 

2017 - Expanded
DAC's New Building
A photo of Martha’s Vineyard Place Apartments, a large apartment complex where DAC’s Dallas office is housed. There’s a parking lot in front of the building and blue skies with clouds in the background.

DAC has undergone a variety of updates over the years, including the renovation and opening of our new building in 2017 under the direction of current Executive Director, Heather Hughes. The new structure, Martha’s Vineyard Place, is home to our Dallas office and houses an affordable housing complex for both deaf and non-deaf Dallas residents. In addition to the affordable housing options available at Martha’s Vineyard Place, this new structure serves as a gathering place for local members of the deaf and hard of hearing community to socialize and learn through the programming we offer.

Continuing to Serve Our Community
A photo of the DAC Dallas office lobby. There’s a granite-top desk with a laptop, videophone, and char behind it and the DAC logo on the wall in the background. Below the DAC logo are the words, “Equipping Others. Promoting Understanding. Eliminating Barriers.”

After almost 50 years of service, DAC remains dedicated to equipping others, promoting understanding, and eliminating barriers that exist for the deaf and hard of hearing community. We stand on three pillars of service that guide our mission and work: Advocacy, Communication, and Empowerment (A.C.E.). With these three pillars in mind, we serve thousands of deaf and hard of hearing community members annually through our senior center, advocacy team, and interpreting services. We work to equip those who are deaf and hard of hearing with the skills, resources, and information they need to effectively navigate life and remain one of the only places in North Texas where a person can enter a building and use American Sign Language when seeking assistance. 

*Timeline in Progress. Stay tuned for new updates and information.*