The Advocacy Program is designed to help deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals become effective self-advocates by giving them access to the resources they need to make informed decisions and communicate their needs. The program is an educational based program where the role of the staff is to empower, coach and support individuals on their rights and responsibilities as defined by various; laws such as, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 501 and Title VII), Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act, Federal Communications Commission, etc.
The Program is also designed to serve as a community resource to entities outside of the agency. This includes private businesses, employers, healthcare providers, school systems, local government, etc. The role of the staff is to educate and explain to these entities on their rights and responsibilities in providing effective communication for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. In addition to providing resources, tools and tips on how they can best accommodate deaf and hard of hearing individuals, staff in this role builds relationships with these entities so that they rely on the agency to help them with breaking down their communication barriers.
The Program is not a legal entity, law enforcement or policing agent nor an enforcer of any of the laws. It is merely a program to educate and empower individuals and the community at large. The agency does not act on behalf of any individuals wishing to file a formal complaint. Rather, the agency provides the individuals with the tools, techniques, pros and cons, etc. of filing the formal complaint and offers continued support and guidance until the issues are resolved.
For more information about the Advocacy Program please call us at 410-742-5052 (V/TTY) or email firstname.lastname@example.org