The Executive Director’s Pulse
So often, when people think of Deaf Action Center (DAC), they think of us as a deaf senior center or assume that we only serve people over the age of 60. We’ve spent a lot of time correcting this misunderstanding by letting the public know we serve all ages and a wide variety of clients through our programs.
However, this month, as we reopened our first-floor community room, I’ve started to understand why many people see us as an organization for seniors. This population is so important to our community. They have taught me and many others so much about the deaf community by sharing not only their stories, but also little pieces of themselves.
About 18 years ago, during my early years at DAC, an elder shared that she had been forcibly sterilized by her family when she married her deaf husband. She was not permitted to become pregnant as her family feared she would birth more deaf children. Although she was a leader and a storyteller within the community at DAC, her value was not always treasured by those outside our walls.
I am proud to say that at DAC we serve seniors who have paved the way for us and are considered pillars in our community, including those who have persevered through atrocities such as the one described above. They navigated life with the few resources that were available to them and did whatever it took to make ends meet for themselves and their families.
As the world moves faster and DAC becomes busier, I want to make sure I take a moment to encourage others and remind myself to honor our seniors and the work they’ve put in to making our community a more accessible, livable, and lovable place.