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Deaf-accessible homeless shelter: How-to Guide

Where do deaf homeless people go for help in your city? This guide explains how to make a Deaf-accessible homeless shelter, for service providers.
Cover of the publication entitled "Make Your Shelter Accessible!" Below the title, black and white drawings show hands forming the signs for "shelter" and "support".

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Do you know Deaf people who are homeless? What services exist for them? Are homeless shelters accessible? This guide explains how to make a Deaf-accessible homeless shelter.


The guide explains about American Sign Language. It also explains how to communicate with people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or late deafened. The guide also explains the difference between an interpreter and a signer. And it explains how to use sign language interpreter services.


Two organizations published this guide in 2000. One was the Deaf Homeless Project, the other was Ontario Association of the Deaf. Meanwhile, it is for people in Ontario, Canada. In consequence, some information will be different in other places. Also, the guide on making a deaf-accessible homeless shelter is old. Thus, the sections on technology and on TTY terms are out of date. But the communication tips will be similar anywhere. 


This PDF file is partly accessible for people using screen reading software. But it does not use bookmarks.


Also see a guide for healthcare workers on communicating with deaf patients. Or, you also can read a toolkit on communicating with deaf clients at a service agency.

Click here to show & hide the transcript with descriptions


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