Reaching the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

What would you do if you needed significant, life-changing help, but you were unable to communicate with those you depended upon for that help?

The Detroit Free Press reports there are about 655,500 deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Michigan, and it’s believed that the prevalence of alcohol abuse within the population is akin to that of the hearing community (They say about 1 in 5 people ages 12 yrs. and up have admitted to binge drinking once within a 30 day span).

Treatment for substance abuse, and even the getting to the point of being ready to seek treatment, is extremely difficult – and that’s an understatement. But those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing may face even more challenges on the road to recovery, especially in Michigan where there’s a lack of therapists and counselors trained in American Sign Language (ASL) as well as funding for these programs.

In Monroe, Michigan, The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center is filling this gap through its Deaf and Hard of Hearing Treatment Program.  It’s the only day treatment program in the state that serves the needs of deaf or hard of hearing individuals with a substance abuse problem.  It staffs certified and accredited interpreters and even offers a housing component for clients.

Read more about his experience and The Salvation Army’s work in addressing the deaf community’s needs in the Detroit Free Press “Deaf have few options in drug, alcohol fight.”