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Deaf Rights in Residential Treatment Centers

 

The Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) has released a short educational video and two public service announcements that discuss the fair housing rights of deaf and hard of hearing persons in residential treatment facilities (RTFs).

For many people struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, the supportive environment of RTFs may offer the best chance for recovery from addiction. But deaf and hard of hearing persons have too often been turned away from such programs and may be reluctant to seek treatment at RTFs.  

Fortunately, fair housing and other civil rights laws require RTFs to make American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and other auxiliary aids available to facilitate effective communication with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to ensure equal access and full participation in services and programs. The new video portrays the positive experiences of deaf and hard of hearing persons working through their addiction issues in the warm and supportive environment of an RTF.

The ASL video was directed and produced by Jules Dameron and Joshua Castille at Hypernovas Productions and features veteran Hollywood actor and Academy Award nominee Paul Raci. Mr. Raci received wide acclaim for his performance as Joe, the mentor to the main character in the groundbreaking film Sound of Metal, set in a treatment center for deaf and hard of hearing persons. Like Joe, Mr. Raci has dealt with his own addiction issues after serving in Vietnam.  Deaf cast members featured in the video include Dre Hollingsworth, Alejandro Rea, and Neil Sprouse. 

The video is also available as a 60-second PSA:

 

And as a 30-second PSA:

All three versions are available for use by other fair housing, disability rights, and civil rights organizations. For more information, contact FHJC Community Engagement Coordinator Craig Waletzko at cwaletzko@fairhousingjustice.org.

Visitors to the FHJC website can also view the educational video A Home for Henry, about the fair housing rights of deaf and hard of hearing populations in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

A complete list of translation services, devices, and practices that can be provided by residential treatment centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other housing providers to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing populations and ensure effective communication is also available. Click here to view and download the Guide to Auxiliary Aids and Services. A Home for Henry and the Guide were both produced in conjunction with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).