The Executive Director’s Pulse – Summer 2021
The decision has been made and the time has come for DAC staff and clients to once again meet in person at our locations in Dallas and Fort Worth. Re-opening our offices is less about getting back to “normal” and more about our clients getting the services they desperately need and deserve. As a marginalized population that is often denied communication access, we are immensely proud of how our community has persevered through the obstacles of the last year.
While we were able to make the majority of our services virtual, most people we serve do not have access to reliable WIFI services or technology. Many of our interactions with clients involve providing sight translations where documents printed in written English (such as medical instructions, utility bills, or letters from social services) are translated into American Sign Language by an advocate or interpreter. During our time away from the office, clients often had difficulty sending us these documents to review. This ended up adding more confusion to the process and made us hesitant to proceed in that manner any longer than necessary. I am confident that as we welcome clients back on-site, our ability to provide A.C.E (Advocacy, Communication, and Empowerment) services to the deaf community will steadily increase.
This transition will also be an adjustment period for the staff at DAC. Since last year, we have hired five new staff members who have never worked on-site at the DAC office. We will be introducing them to our office culture and learning more about each other’s habits and personalities. In the past, whenever we faced a difficult problem or created a new process, we always grabbed our huge white board and hashed it out in person as a team. I look forward to getting my team back together again to provide the best services possible for our clients.
As we re-open, we ask that clients call to make appointments with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Access and Technology Specialists when possible. We will be serving walk-ins on a limited basis.