End Deaf isolation in DE group homes NOW

End Deaf isolation in DE group homes NOW

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Clellie Merchant started this petition to Delaware Department of Human and Social Services and

We, the undersigned citizens of Delaware, support the establishment of group homes for Deaf adults with additional needs. Currently they have no effective communication and are deteriorating because of living in isolation in group homes with only hearing roommates and staff who do not know how to communicate with them. They want and need lives that are meaningful and allow them to have the opportunity to meet their full potential like everyone else. This requires full communication with fluent signing and Deaf-competent staff. That is THEIR demand. That is OUR demand.

*****

Currently, zero group homes in the state of Delaware provide appropriate services to Deaf clients. All Delaware group homes are all-hearing, all-English environments. Each Deaf client lives in a different group home. Every staff member working with Deaf clients in Delaware is hearing and cannot sign, with the exception of one Deaf staff who is part-time with one client.

The result is that every Deaf client is subjected to total social isolation. Scientific research has proven that isolation causes severe and permanent brain damage. Every day that DHSS does not act is another day of agonizing punishment for these clients.

Delaware group home staff are unable to communicate with their Deaf clients, meaning that those Deaf clients do not have the ability to resolve conflicts, communicate medical problems, experience human connection, or advocate for themselves. Every day that DHSS does not act is another day that any one of these members could have a life-threatening medical emergency go untreated.

We want DHSS to consolidate those Deaf clients who want to live with people who can communicate with them, to live together. We want DHSS to staff Deaf clients with Deaf-competent and ASL-fluent staff. We want DHSS to offer Deaf-appropriate services to people currently being cared for by family. We want, in short, DHSS to provide sufficient support to the most vulnerable of our communities.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!