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Advocacy                                                                  

Individual and Systems Advocacy Services promote short- and long-term opportunities and change for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals. Advocacy services may be provided to individuals and groups and may also target general systems to ensure that the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals are accounted for and understood. Services may include, but are not limited to:

 · Advocating for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals when the right to communication is threatened;

·  Advocating for the provision of reasonable accommodation services in housing, community and government services, medical, employment, and religious settings;

· Increasing the awareness of the unique needs and values of deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind persons in the business, educational, and general communities;

· Conducting deafness simulation trainings to increase sensitivity and awareness;

· Working with OhioMeansJobs centers and other work-focused programs to increase target population access to services;

· Conducting accessibility studies in polling locations;

· Conducting deaf awareness and communication trainings with service providers and community partners;

· Attending general community events to expose the larger community to matters related to hearing loss and Deaf culture;

· Increasing the awareness of the need for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals to have information in their preferred language; and

· Consulting with Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) that contract with OOD and provide basic VR services to the target population.