Sharon: Hi Everyone!
I’m Sharon Applegate, the Executive Director of DEAF, Inc. I want to share our COVID-19 reopening plan with the community. DEAF, Inc. staff had training on the office safety guidelines last week. DEAF, Inc. wants to ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone. Reopening will proceed slowly and safely.
Please note that DEAF, Inc. reopening phases are subject to change. Public health data trends indicating significant increases in viral transmission, and/or increased absence of DEAF, Inc. staff could result in fewer open days or closing the agency that week.
In Part One, starting this week the Boston and Lawrence offices are open by appointment only once a week for a month. The Salem, New Bedford, Taunton and Cape offices will remain closed due to office relocations.
In Part Two, all DEAF, Inc. offices are open by appointment only on two days a week for three months.
In Part Three, all DEAF, Inc. offices are open by appointment only on three days a week for the next three months.
Part four is to be determined.
If you need in-person service, please contact DEAF, Inc. by VP, email, phone, website. It’s important that you are aware of the new safety rules before you visit DEAF, Inc. The rules will be explained in detail next.
Elvira: Hi, when you come to DEAF, Inc. for an appointment, please be aware of these safety rules:
In-office services will be provided by appointment made in advance. We are unable to provide walk-in services at this time.
If you are sick, stay home and call to cancel your appointment.
DEAF, Inc. main doors and side entrances are locked at all times. Please ring the doorbell and a staff member will meet you at the door at the time of your appointment.
Face masks must be worn before entering DEAF, Inc.
Before entering the DEAF, Inc. office, you will be asked to confirm that you are healthy and have no COVID-19 symptoms, and you will be asked to use hand sanitizer.
Please be mindful and maintain social distancing at 6 feet at all times.
All classrooms, kitchen, conference and library rooms, and videophone areas are closed.
Bathrooms are open.
After your appointment we ask that you leave the DEAF, Inc. office.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 after your visit to DEAF, Inc., you must inform us immediately.
If you have questions, please contact DEAF, Inc. Stay safe and well.
Sharon Applegate: Hello everyone. My name is Sharon Applegate and I am the Executive Director of DEAF, Inc. in Boston. I hope all are doing well. Our hearts go out to those that have become sick or passed away due to COVID-19. We need to stay strong, healthy, and positive. DEAF, Inc. staff have been performing amazingly and working hard during this difficult time. I want to thank the staff for that. Next you will see several ways that staff are supporting individuals addressing challenges.
Devon Hostetler: I explain how to fill out the US Census online.
Chi Kwong-Sito: No internet? No problem, I help you to get new one.
Hayley Bernard: I distribute weekly newsletters with important information to keep people informed.
Catarina Lima: I support consumers with different levels of hearing loss find a phone system that works for them. For example, a caption phone, VP, and VP including VCO. All so they can stay connected with friends and family.
Emma Leigh Lawrence Vick: I provide peer support for Hard of Hearing seniors just like me. When they feel isolated or lonely, I give them suggestions on useful and fun things to do.
Marie Desrosiers: I guide consumers through filing for unemployment benefits.
Elaine Ducharme: DBCAN providers support DeafBlind people with essential needs, like food shopping, food delivery, and staying informed.
Tabatha Patrican: I explain the symptoms of COVID-19 and the importance of wearing masks.
Matt Kelley: I help late-deafened seniors get accessible technology, so they can stay safe and connected at home. Examples include flashing light fire equipment, and caption phones.
Ron Bergenheim: I support consumers if they have questions about Social Security benefits, including SSI, SSDI, and SSA.
Todd Suffreti: I help consumers find out where their stimulus check is.
Samantha McDonald: Staff can help consumers figure out how to order food delivery.
Sofia German: I post important information on Facebook regularly. Such as posts that stress the importance of staying home and maintaining social distancing, because someone could have the virus and show no symptoms. To keep themselves and other safe, I stress the importance of staying home and maintaining social distancing.
Sandra Bass: I help consumers learn how to use Zoom. I explain the directions clearly until they understand how to use the program.
Robert Martin: Continuing to raise awareness of ASL and the Deaf community by providing online ASL classes to hearing students.
Matt Castiglione: We are still helping consumers find safe housing during the pandemic. The pandemic will not stop us from providing support.
Sharon Applegate: Contact us if you need DEAF, Inc. services. Stay well. Stay safe.
Hello everyone. My name is Sharon Applegate, Executive Director of DEAF, Inc.
It was horrible how George Floyd was murdered. This is not the first time this has happened to a Black man or woman. It has happened many times, repeatedly, over hundreds of years in our history.
This cannot continue. It will destroy humanity. It will destroy our community.
In these tough times, we at DEAF, Inc. extend our deepest condolences to all people of color, particularly Black men and women, boys and girls, directly impacted by police brutality. George Floyd and many others are victims who have lost their lives or whose lives are threatened because of the color of their skin.
We white people must do more! We can’t just post. We need to have dialogues and take action. We heard you.
As part of a diverse Deaf community nationwide, we must continue to work together to confront and prevent acts of hate and bias. DEAF, Inc. is committed to ensuring our services are inclusive to all. We are committed to addressing systemic, institutionalized oppression, discrimina;on, and racism in society and in our community.
We may not always know exactly what to do or what to say but we are committed to learning, making changes, aiming to do better, and working together to achieve equity for all people.
DEAF, Inc. stands in solidarity with our Black Deaf community and the wider Black community in Massachusetts and across the country in the fight against police brutality, racism, and social injustice.Because Black Lives Matter!
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is encouraging all eligible customers to renew their standard driver’s license or ID card online this summer in order to qualify for a free upgrade to a REAL ID credential in 2021. At this time, people will not need a federally-compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights prior to October 1, 2021, because the government delayed the compliance effective date by one year.
Governor Baker has announced that the annual sales tax-free weekend will take place on August 29 and 30. Retail items of up to $2,500, purchased in Massachusetts for personal use on these two days, will be exempt from sales tax.
Governor Baker has urged MA residents again to continue to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, maintain proper hygiene, and stay home when sick to avoid a spike in cases that many other states are currently seeing because the coronavirus will not take a “summer vacation.”
DEAF, Inc. has recently released the vlog with our own reopening plan. In-person services will be provided by appointment made in advance. It is important that you are aware of our safety rules before you visit DEAF, Inc. If you have not seen the vlog, check the DEAF, Inc. website (www.deafinconline.org) for more info. Please contact DEAF, Inc. if you have any questions. Next week we will share more info about our Salem and Southeast office relocations.
Registration for online summer ASL classes is still open at https://www.deafinconline.org/asl-program/course-schedule-and-registration
One class is full already, get your spot before it's too late!
You all stay safe and healthy.
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