The Issue: Isolation Created by Differences in Communication
People who are deaf-blind experience a combination of vision and hearing loss but can often still see or hear well enough to communicate, according to a report from the American Association of the Deaf-Blind. These individuals live full and complete lives, working, traveling, and communicating through speech, sign language, or tactile finger spelling. However, people who experience the world in different ways can often feel isolated, and bonding experiences with their peers can help them cope with struggles they may face.
The Campaign: Sponsoring Campers at a Deaf-Blind Retreat
If 40 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then North Carolina Deaf-Blind Associates (NCDBA) can send two adults to the NCDBA Camp Dogwood Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat, which offers recreational activities and life-skills lessons. Each additional $200 raised will provide a scholarship for another deaf-blind adult.
The Camp Dogwood weekend retreat combines the educational benefits of classes about American sign language and life skills with recreational activities such as jet-ski rides, crafts, dances, and a talent show. Campers will also have the opportunity to ride motorcycles in accordance with this year’s Harley-Davidson theme. Throughout the weekend, support service providers staffed at a one-to-one ratio work with campers and provide them with communication assistance and general guidance. However, the retreat also emphasizes autonomy and personal independence to help campers connect with others and share experiences.
North Carolina Deaf-Blind Associates
With a mission to enable deaf-blind individuals to achieve their full potential, North Carolina Deaf-Blind Associates advocates for the rights and needs of its constituents through consumer advocacy and community-building events. John Washington and Sue Etheridge started the group as a consumer organization in 1983, but it expanded to offer annual conventions and retreats to help reduce the isolation that can result from living with communication obstacles. Conferences promote new technologies and advocate for individual rights, and the Camp Dogwood Deaf-Blind Weekend Retreat provides a much-needed space for deaf-blind adults to socialize, share stories, and participate in life-skills classes, sporting events and dances, and outings to local shopping centers or the lake.
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