Not Without Us Information Session Comes to Kalamazoo

Contact: Todd Heywood - HeywoodT@michigan.gov
Agency: Civil Rights

November 2, 2018

Lansing, MI–Staff from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (DODDBHH) will host an informational session about the historic Not Without Us needs assessment and community survey. The session will be held Saturday, Nov 10, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Kalamazoo Valley Community College Texas Township Campus rooms 4370 and 4380. The campus is located at 6767 W. O Ave, Kalamazoo.

The Not Without Us survey is the most comprehensive needs assessment and survey of the communities of deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing in the state’s history. The survey is an online multimedia platform consisting of a variety of options to take it including ASL and plain text. It covers such issues as healthcare access, housing related issues and government access. The last time any sort of needs assessment for these communities was conducted was in 1989.

The survey can be accessed at NotWithoutUsMich.org. Anyone who is a member of the deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing communities 13 years and older can the survey. Parents or guardians of minors under 13 are encouraged to take the survey for the youth in their care. Senior citizens and veterans who may having developed hearing loss are often unrepresented in such community dialogs are strongly encouraged to fill out to attend the session and take the survey.

“We’ve been trying to make policy and budget decisions here in Michigan based on data that is over 30 years old,” said Annie Urasky, Director of DODDBHH. “Since that time, technology and access issues have changed immensely. In order to truly meet the needs of our communities, we need to know where state businesses and governments are succeeding and where they are falling behind. We are incredibly excited to get this hard data in hand to continue our advocacy in a data driven approach. That’s good for our communities and it’s good for Michigan, too.”

Team members from the DODDBHH will be on hand to answer questions about why the survey is necessary, who can take it and provide an opportunity for people to take the survey.

# # #