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Deaf, DeafBlind And Hard of Hearing Domestic Violence Survivors Need Access To A National 24/7 Hotline 

Deaf anti-domestic violence organizations seek to raise $250,000 in a crowd funding campaign to fund a 24/7 deaf hotline staffed by deaf advocates for deaf survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Austin, Texas
December 02, 2014

Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) has partnered with Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) to expand and enhance access to linguistically and culturally appropriate resources for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. The mission includes leading a coalition of over a dozen community organizations currently serving this population and launching a #WhoWillAnswer crowdfunding campaign. The goal is to raise $250,000 to fully fund the National Deaf Hotline Center, as well as increase and raise awareness of advocacy resources currently available.

ADWAS is the first deaf-led community service organization established to help deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing survivors of domestic violence. Among the services they provide is the National Deaf Hotline Center, which is staffed by deaf advocates who are trained to help deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing domestic violence survivors gain access to critical information and resources, communicating with them in their native American Sign Language (ASL).

Due to limited funding, the center currently operates only Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST). This leaves deaf survivors without access to services from qualified deaf advocates during weekday evenings and weekends. In those instances, deaf callers must instead involve an ASL interpreter to relay phone calls to the hearing advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Although the hearing advocates are fully trained in dealing with survivors, these conversations are deeply personal, and a three-way call through a sign language interpreter is often not the optimal communication choice.

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