DeafBlind Community Class

Interpreter Brenda Aron (right) translates for Deaf-Blind Community Class student Ken Sting (left) during a session at Seattle Central Community College

Statement of Purpose

The DeafBlind Community Class serves the DeafBlind community by providing: information in an accessible environment, opportunities to socialize and network with peers, opportunities for interpreters to practice their skills working and interpreting with DeafBlind individuals —

Our Commitment to the DeafBlind Community: All DeafBlind program services offer a safe, supportive, and respectful environment; linguistically and culturally appropriate services; and consumer involvement and input. Our goal is to ensure maximum respect, independence, choice, and control over matters impacting each participant. We achieve this by living our values of Communication, Culture and Community!

DeafBlind Community Class opportunities: The DeafBlind Community Class creates a space for DeafBlind people to come together, share or learn information in an accessible format and environment, and give professionals and students a safe place to develop their skills working with DeafBlind individuals.

  • Community Class helps break the isolation of being DeafBlind in a hearing world by bringing community members together.
  • All participants are provided interpreters to deliver information in their required mode of communication – tactile, close visual, platform or voice.
  • Information is delivered in a culturally appropriate format, at an accessible pace that allows time for tactile or relay interpreting.
  • Notes may be provided in regular print, large print, braille or electronic format.
  • DeafBlind participants may be hosts, announcers or presenters, or develop the necessary skills to fill those leadership roles.
  • We work with all presenters in advance to ensure they have the information they need to provide a successful presentation.
  • The facilities we use have excellent lighting, flexible seating, dark backgrounds behind presenters and amplification systems available (FM, PA)
  • A pre-class meeting is offered for interpreters. Led by a DeafBlind or Deaf facilitator, interpreters learn ASL vocabulary, concepts or general tips that will help their interpreting during the evening’s class.
  • A post class debrief meeting is offered for interpreters or participants to discuss issues that arise during class, get feedback and solutions.
  • Community Class functions as the meeting grounds for DeafBlind people from other areas, professionals wanting to connect with the DeafBlind community, and students who want to increase their exposure and develop their communication skills.

Individual classes may include:

  • Local area interests and history: Theo Chocolate, Starbucks, Boeing Aerospace
  • Current Events
  • Annual Election Issues and Candidates
  • Inspirational stories
  • Feedback forums with local transportation agencies, 911 or other service providers
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Games and field trips
  • Volunteer Appreciation night!

Eligibility Participants in Community Class must be DeafBlind: legally blind and either Deaf, significantly hard of hearing, or late deafened. Services are open to all DeafBlind community members and are not limited to Seattle Lighthouse employees. Visitors are always welcome!

Volunteer Interpreters must be fluent in ASL, have the ability to sign Tactile ASL and possess a working knowledge of interpreting for DeafBlind individuals.   Support Service Providers must have minimum 2 years ASL exposure and experience providing sighted guide and visual information.

Funding The DeafBlind Community Class is funded through community support. We rely on financial contributions from local corporations, foundations, service organizations and individuals.  Participants do pay a nominal fee per quarter.

All community support for Lighthouse programs is channeled through the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation, whose sole purpose is to gather community support for fulfillment of the Seattle Lighthouse mission.

Information Contact
Amy Koehl
Senior Director, Employee and Community Services
Phone: (206) 436-2106


This entry was posted on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 3:44 pm and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Our Mission: To create and enhance opportunities for independence and self-sufficiency
of people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities.

© 2017 The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.