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The Sacramento Bee |
JULY 11, 2016

When you’re hospitalized or in pain, understanding a doctor’s diagnosis or a nurse’s instructions is hard enough. But when you’re deaf, it can feel like being shut out.

Ellen Thielman, a retired computer programmer, found that out twice this year. Deaf since infancy, the Sacramento resident has navigated the hearing world for years – graduating from college, raising two children and working more than 20 years for several California state government departments.

But when Thielman, 67, landed in the emergency room last January with what she thought might be symptoms of a stroke, she was frustrated by the lack of adequate sign-language interpreters and her inability to effectively talk with medical staff.

“I was furious, upset and a bit traumatized. I felt really alone,” said Thielman, who lives independently but needs a service dog to hear even her own doorbell.

Thielman wasn’t misdiagnosed, mistreated or given improper medications. Still, in two emergency room visits and subsequent hospital stays this year at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, she said she frequently felt isolated and unsure why she was getting certain injections or exactly what her medical status was. Both times, she said, it took three to four hours for a trained interpreter to arrive in the emergency room. Later, in the hospital, she was unable to schedule an interpreter to meet with her doctors.

During her multi-night hospital stays, her primary means of conversation was to scribble back-and-forth notes with her nurses and doctors.


Read more  . . . medical care



Small changes in your home can make a big difference in your life. They can make your home a space that enables you to thrive as your living situation changes and make life easier for visitors to your home—from grandchildren to adult children and friends. Attend this free workshop to find out how simple changes to your home can create an environment where everyone is welcome, and everyone can flourish.

AARP is teaming up with Mt. Vernon at Home, Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, and Fairfax County Building for All Committee (BFAC) to bring you this free community workshop; it includes a panel of experts will share practical tips to minimize the financial costs of home modifications, avoid frauds and scams, and learn about local resources available.

Staying Home: Smart Choices of Easy Living

Saturday, May 16, 2015
10:00 a.m.  – 12:30 p.m.

RSVP requested as seating is limited.  Register online or call 1-877-926-8300.

In an AARP survey, eight out of 10 people age 45 and older say they want to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. If you’re one of them, this workshop is for you! You will get comprehensive advice, tips, and checklists for getting your home in top form for comfort, safety and long-term livability and you’ll hear from experts on how to fund home renovations both large and small.

Light complimentary refreshments will be served.

No products or services will be sold or promoted.

Download our event flyer to share with your friends and neighbors.  All are welcome!

Register online or call 1-877-926-8300

To request an ADA reasonable accommodation, contact Matthew Barkley, Director of Disability Services Planning and Development, Fairfax County, by phone: 703-324-5868, TTY: 703-449-1186,or e-mail:




Utilizing the WRAP® system interpreters will learn how to improve their own physical and mental health. WRAP® is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan that teaches participant to identify stressors and develop strategies for improved overall health. Learn about WRAP® and develop your own WRAP® .

Instructors, Beth Klein and CW Tillman, are both certified WRAP facilitators and excited to bring this innovative workshop to the interpreting community. Interpreters, as a profession, are notorious for neglecting themselves. We attend workshops about how to improve our interpreted product, but rarely attend workshops about ourselves.

This workshop is about taking care of YOU!!!!!

Date: April 18th Cost: $60.00
Time: 9am-5:30pm Location:

3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130,
Fairfax, VA 22030

.8 CEU’s are pending and sponsored by VRID.

DOWNLOAD - Updated WRAP flyer with registration link


VA organizing logo


Did you know that health care reform means people without insurance can start enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace on October 1?

Health Care Reform PDF Handout

Virginia Organizing wants to make sure that people all over Virginia know about the new Health Insurance Marketplace and we think you can help!


We’ve come up with a few helpful tips on how to talk to your family members and friends about health care while you’re waiting for the burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers to finish cooking! You can also take a look at our helpful flyer by clicking here.


Thanks for your help on getting the word out about health care reform and the new benefits for thousands and thousands of people!


Virginia Organizing’s Helpful Tips for Talking About Health Insurance