Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Gallaudet Hosts CERT training

June 22nd, 2012

Post by: Kim Stephens

Serve DC is the Washington D.C. government agency dedicated to promoting and conducting volunteer service programs, including the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.  For the first time in the district, CERT is being offered to the deaf community, with American Sign Language interpreters available, at Gallaudet University from July 10-12, 2012. Participants will get basic disaster response skill training, including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Interpreters taking this training will earn 2 Continuing Educational Units.


The first offering will be considered a pilot program and will involve an exploration into nature of how “hearing” people (non-deaf, non-signing) can best work together with sign language interpreters for communication access during emergencies. This exploration will take place in focus groups where deaf participants will be invited to share their expertise about effective and culturally appropriate communication using sign language interpreters. The interpreters will also have the opportunity to reflect on lessons and insights learned. The training and these focus group sessions will be video-recorded and composed into videos for Serve DC to post on YouTube in order to model empowerment and promote preparedness in all communities of the District of Columbia as well as throughout the country.

Organizers are hoping the first session will fill with dorm captains and others with leadership responsibilities during a crisis. If you are interested in the program please contact  Jason Williamson via email or at (202) 727-7925 for more information.

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