Opening Acts: October 10, 2018

FHJC Releases Educational Video

Fair Housing Rights of Deaf People in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities Featured in Film

Today, the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) released an educational video entitled A Home for Henry.  The video was created to increase public awareness about the fair housing rights of deaf and hard of hearing populations in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

In November 2015, the FHJC filed two federal fair housing lawsuits against operators of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, alleging that they refused to make American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters available to deaf persons at dozens of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in violation of fair housing and other civil rights laws. As a result of settlements reached with these defendants, the FHJC created this short educational video in American Sign Language (ASL). The film is also subtitled.

A Home for Henry tells the story of Henry, an elderly Deaf man who recently started residing in a nursing home. In the 12-minute video, Henry relates his personal experience searching for a nursing home and his interaction with a nursing home administrator who developed an effective communication plan that would meet his needs.

A Home for Henry encourages elderly people who are deaf or hard of hearing to exercise their fair housing rights. It also provides administrators and staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities with valuable information about the types of auxiliary aids that will ensure effective communication with deaf and hard of hearing residents. A Home for Henry was directed and produced by the Deaf Professional Artists Network (DPAN), featuring a nearly all deaf cast and crew and was created in consultation with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).

FHJC Executive Director Fred Freiberg, “For deaf and hard of hearing people to access and fully use and enjoy the benefits and services available in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, effective communication is essential. The FHJC produced this film after learning that few educational resources were available that described the fair housing rights of deaf persons or the elements of an effective communication plan.”

“Housing rights are important for every person who is looking for a place to live, but information is not always available nor accessible especially for deaf and hard of hearing people. This video provides important information about housing rights through American Sign Language and captioning,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the NAD. “The NAD applauds the Fair Housing Justice Center for taking the lead and collaborating with deaf organizations to make this video a reality.”

The mission of the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC), a nonprofit civil rights organization, is to eliminate housing discrimination; promote policies and programs that foster more open, accessible, and inclusive communities; and strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws in the New York City region.