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annedelv

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ABUSED DEAF WOMENS ADVOCACY SERVICES
December 11, 2009

When I moved to Seattle in 1992 I was thrilled to learn about this one-of-a-kind non-profit; an organization by and for Deaf women and children intended to help them live violence-free lives. As a Sign Language interpreter, I've seen the compounding impact of lack of access to services for Deaf and Deaf-Blind people who are trying to leave violent relationships - ADWAS is breaking down those barriers. I met women, children and men who were taking back their own lives, and doing it because they were learning from people who shared THEIR language and THEIR culture. Imagine what it's like to be a victim of physical or sexual or violence, but before you can receive help you must first educate the service provider about your "disability"! I began as a volunteer with the organization in 1993 and was honored to be asked to join the staff as a part-time interpreter when ADWAS began its capital campaign. They successfully raised enough money to construct a beautiful transitional housing and office building. My husband and I were proud to contribute financially - we knew that the housing and support services would not only help local Deaf and Deaf-Blind people, but would also become a beacon of hope for many other victims like them around the country. Not only does ADWAS share it's vision and train other Deaf communities in the ground-breaking work they do, they have now become a gold standard for anti-violence work for all agencies, period.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing it grow from a tiny staff in cramped quarters, only able to serve clients who walked in their doors...to a full-service agency, with 24-hour help available, and HOUSING for women and children who otherwise would be homeless.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Former staff & I worked as the staff interpreter for five years.