The Executive Director’s Pulse – Spring 2021

This February’s winter storm affected many, and the deaf seniors at Martha’s Vineyard Place (MVP) were not exempt. With no DAC staff able to drive on site and administer aid and provide wellness checks, how would this population fare? This is a story of why deaf spaces are needed and how empowered people can support each other.

Mollie and Antonia both require breathing machines. Mollie, concerned about Antonia, went to check on her and found Antonia using the outlet in the hallway to plug in her breathing machine as her apartment had lost power. The two decided to go back to Mollie’s apartment where the power soon went out, as well. At this point, they decided to call 911 in order to receive lifesaving care. Mollie made her way to another deaf senior’s apartment where she was able to place the call through a video phone app and receive help. This kind of community reliance would most likely not have been possible in a complex full of hearing neighbors.

When pipes burst and temperatures dropped, the unique communication access and support system that the residents had built at MVP aided them in surviving the storm. Now, the services and programs available at DAC are helping them through the process of filing insurance claims, applying for social aid, and healing.

Deaf Action Center is proud of how the seniors and other signing residents of MVP were able to weather the storm and support one another. They followed the model set forth by YOU, the community members, donors, and supporters of DAC. Your support makes it possible for us to instill the value of community in everything we do and provide the resources for clients to become self-advocates and self-empowered to handle whatever life throws their way.

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