Side by Side Support

Ricky had a feeling this day was coming. As he watched many in his community lose their jobs during this time, he wasn’t surprised to be let go. However, Ricky was surprised at how difficult it was to access unemployment benefits! He tried to file online but found the steps difficult to follow. America Sign Language is Ricky’s first language, so he struggled to understand the printed English instructions. Ricky also tried to place a call through an interpreter to file a claim, but that didn’t work either. When the interpreter on the phone switched shifts with another interpreter and the voice that the agent was hearing turned from male to female, the agent suspected a fraudulent call was being made and hung up.

Ricky reached out to Deaf Action Center and was quickly connected with an advocate. He was shown how to apply for benefits in American Sign Language. After that, he was able to navigate the process online with the guidance of a DAC advocate. Ricky has now been approved to receive unemployment benefits. He awaits better days and looks forward to finding a new job as soon as he can.

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