DCARA was featured on ABC-7 News’s Special Program “Profiles of Excellence” an Emmy Award-winning series produced by the ABC7 Public Affairs Department to celebrate the Bay Area’s rich cultural diversity. For the past 25 years, the program has been featuring local residents who have made important contributions to the community.
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Airdate: June 7, 2014
Copyright @ ABC-7 News
Our next profile looks at the oldest Deaf-controlled agency in the Nation,
DCARA (Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency)
serves as a role model for other Deaf agencies around the world.
Catie: Good afternoon. This is the referral agency. My name is Catie. How can I help you?
Marta: Yes, I need to speak to my supervisor Reese. Is she available?
Reporter: For the past 52 years, DCARA has been an important for the Deaf
and Hard of Hearing Community with multiple locations around the Bay area.
We work with parents and families who have recently
diagnosed Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind, or Late-Deafened all the way to Senior Citizens.
Our mission is to promote respect of American Sign Language
as being on par with English to lobby for Deaf people,
foster Education for Deaf people and foster the cultural identity of the Deaf Community.
Reporter: DCARA offers a wide range of services from Advocacy and Peer Counseling
to Parent and Family services. The Deaf Employment Training Center in San Jose offers accessible
workforce training for people who face multiple barriers to work.
We realized that many of the people who come through our doors aren’t job ready.
They still need some basic hard skills related to Literacy in English, Math, Computer skills
as well as the what we call the soft skills, social skills, ethics, social boundaries.
Reporter: DCARA is proud to staff a decidated team that reflects its clients.
The head of Community Relations got started there as a student.
DCARA invited me to come and eventually interviewed me for a position, and they hired me.
That was a very interesting day, going there for the interview.
Because they all hugged me. And they all wished me good luck.
And I thought, Wow! This is fascinating.
Reporter: The conveniently located Deaf Community Center in San Leandro offers a
variety of classes and is a source of hope for Deaf Immigrants.
All too often, in their countries, they may know little or no sign language of their
and so when they come here to the U.S., I can see that they begin to learn a language,
and they have a desire, a passion, an enthusiasm to learn, and they work so hard to learn that sign language.
And they really appreciate this they know there’s really nothing for them back home.
Reporter: The brothers are originally from Guatemala.
With my family, we use, like family sign language.
Reporter: Learning American Sign Language is helping more than just better communication at home.
Immigration, They wanted him to be able to express the reason why he wanted to stay here
in the U.S. rather than going back home to his home country.
So the dilemma is how can he possibly express this if he doesn’t have basic language to begin with?
So we had to teach him what we call survival American Sign Language at first.
And while he was learning these basic survival signs, I had to work with an immigration lawyer
and educate them, educate the court.
Reporter: DCARA offers more than just programming. The agency empowers the lives it touches.
I’m thankful to DCARA because they’ve given me my inner strength that allows me to do my job.
Our thanks to DCARA for their support of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities
from Santa Cruz all the way up to the Oregon border.