|Reaching out to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing|
In the ancient world, when children were discovered to be deaf, they
were often disowned and left to die or fend for themselves.
Currently, six to ten percent of the United States' general population
are deaf or hard of hearing. Of that number, ten percent are addicts
and/or alcoholics (approximately 2 million).
Without access to a program of recovery, this very large group of
people are again, left to die or fend for themselves.
Cocaine Anonymous' preamble states that "our primary purpose
is to stay free from cocaine and all other mind-altering substances,
and to help others achieve the same freedom." C.A.'s 12th Step tells us that we, as a Fellowship, have a responsibility to reach
out to carry this message to addicts. The 1st and 5th Traditions remind us that "our common welfare comes first, that personal
recovery DEPENDS upon C.A. unity" and that "each group
has but one primary purpose � to carry its message to the addicts
who still suffers."
So just how does one reach out to the deaf or hard of hearing?
There are many ways! Like everything else, reaching out to the deaf
or hard of hearing addict requires willingness and open-mindedness.
In this pamphlet, we present some ways to help you get started.
A. Bring the message of C.A. recovery to the hard of hearing
at a local school for the Deaf. These schools can
be located in your local phone book and/or by contacting
your State Commission on Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
those present with hugs or handshakes.
willing to stay after the meeting and talk with those present
(with the help of an
writing pads and pens to aid communication.
members and interpreters out to coffee, if school rules allow.
We are guests!
rules must be respected.
Establish at least one meeting per month at which an interpreter
this information in meeting schedules.
Helpline(s), local newspapers, concerned agencies and schools,
and clergy of meeting.
interpreter one week prior to meeting.
special seating reserved in front of the room.
newcomers with hugs or handshakes.
slowly to allow for lip-reading.
newcomers and interpreters out to coffee.
meeting budget can afford interpreter (approximately $50-$75)
transportation is a problem, have members of the meeting
volunteer to pick up and
drive new members
for an interpreter to be present well in advance. Confirm the
date with him/her one week prior to event/convention.
flyers announcing the event/convention to local schools,
agencies and social clubs for the deaf.
reserved seating in the front row.
D. General Ways to Reach Out
and Touch Deaf Addicts
contact with local interpreters (via State Commission on
Deaf and Hard of Hearing). Answer any questions
they may have on
recovery and C. A. Invite interpreters to open
meetings (advise them of our anonymity statements).
WILLING to reach out your hand in C.A. service
and/or on 12th
calls to deaf/hard of hearing
addicts still suffering. (Remember,
never go on a 12th Step call alone!)
out if your state has a telephone relay service (this is
often a free service) to
enable communication -- computer modem,
Reprinted & adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services,
Inc., c. 1939, 1955, 1976