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.
White text on black background: The pandemic has affected everyone differently. We asked Brian, a DeafBlind DBCAN user, how he has handled new challenges.
Brian is sitting in front of a dark blue wall. He is a white man, wearing glasses, a mask under his chin, and a blue shirt under a neon orange vest.
My name is Brian Copolla, I live in Methuen Massachusetts, I'm hard of hearing and legally blind. I just communicate by voice and I use hearing aids.
Text slide: During the spring and COVID-19 pandemic, what challenges did you experience as a DeafBlind person?
It's been...rather tough... being able to handle this by myself because my sister Susan has had to take care of my mother too. I experienced some challenges trying to keep social distance. That's why I kept my mask on because I knew it was going to be impossible to keep social distance being legally blind.
Text slide: How did you manage your essential needs like food shopping and medical needs?
Okay, during the quarantine, my provider went and got some of the shopping for me at a Shaws in Melrose, and he brought it to me and what I would do is pay him. Some of the stuff he couldn't get for me so what I would do is get on the bus and go to Market Basket near my house and get it for myself. And I did the same thing with my medicines.
Text slide: Do you have any suggestions for DBCAN consumers and providers to work together, safely?
What they should do to work together safely is mask, testing, and if they are uncomfortable with something, psychotherapy.
Text slide: Thank you Brian!
Robbie: Hello! We have exciting news to share with all of you! We will offer a unique class this fall! What is the class? Want a hint?
Elvira: (in RSL) Hello! My name is Elvira and I will teach RSL.
Robbie: Do you know what she signed? Many hearing people think sign language is universal. However, there are many different sign languages around the world.
Elvira (RSL) Robbie (ASL): Hello, Happy, Mother, Dog, Class.
Robbie: Elvira just taught you Russian Sign Language (RSL). She will be our RSL teacher this fall. There will be 15 seats. The class will fill fast so grab your seat as soon as possible!
Elvira: See you this fall! Come learn RSL! It will be fun!
Hello! I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy as well as safe. We are here to explain about MA’s 4 phases and their color codes meanings.
As Many of you either watch or read news about the phases that Governor Baker has announced last week and that is already started as of May 18, 2020. This mean we are now in Phase 1.
What is phase 1? It is called “Phase 1: Start” or “Safer at Home” and the color is yellow. It means only specific businesses can be opened: construction, Manufacturing, places of worship like church and temple, and essential businesses.
However on May 25 next group of businesses can open: Lab space, office space, limited personal services such as hair salon, pet grooming and car washes. Also retail for remote fulfilment and curbside pick-ups, but for Boston only office space can open on June 1.
All places of businesses that open will have to follow many safety measures such as 6 ft distancing, wearing masks, and cleaning often.
Before we can move to Phase 2 we will have to wait at least 3 weeks, depending on the trend. For example, if the trend is upward that is negative, and it means we will move back to Stay at Home. If the trend is downward that is positive, and we can move on to phase 2.
As we move to Phase 1, please keep in mind that we will still have safety measures such as masks, social distancing, and staying home if possible.
However in phases 2, 3, and 4 the restrictions will continue to lessen. More details will be shared in future vlogs.
This is really important to know that there is still no vaccine as of today and virus is still deadly.
For more information, please visit mass.gov and click on “reopening Massachusetts”, then “read more”.]
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