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September 22, 2004

Expansion of interpreting services announced

From: Review Appeal, TN - Sep 22, 2004

NASHVILLE — The availability of interpreting services provided for deaf and hard-of-hearing residents in Middle Tennessee has been expanded by the League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, based in Nashville.

The league, the sole provider of qualified, comprehensive services to the deaf and hard of hearing in a 16-county region, has expanded the hours of its Franklin office, which provides interpreting services to any Middle Tennessee resident through a grant from United Way of Williamson County.

The league's Franklin office is now open Fridays from 8 a.m.-noon in addition to Mondays from 12:30-4:30 p.m. It is located at the American Red Cross office in the Community Services Building, 129 W. Fowlkes St., Suite 100. The satellite office opened in September 2003.

Interpreting services are also available at no charge to people who are deaf at the league's main office, 415 Fourth Ave. S. in Nashville, from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome at either location.

"Our program based in Franklin has proven itself to be a great community resource and asset to the services we provide, thanks to the support of the United Way of Williamson County," said Les Hutchinson, Ph.D., CEO of the league.

Qualified interpreting services include assisting families and seniors with their daily activities where critical and accurate communication between a hearing person(s) and an individual who is deaf is needed. Some situations include assisting with job or family matters and helping understand official correspondence. Off-site interpreting services can be set by appointment.

At the Franklin office, interpreting services are provided primarily by two Williamson County residents, Bonnie Funk and Eric Workman. Services off-site are also available and will be provided by Funk, Workman or another league interpreter.

Funk is the vice president of interpreting services for the league. She holds an associate's degree in sign language interpreting for the deaf from the University of Akron (Ohio) and also holds national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Funk has worked for the league for nine years. Prior to that, she served in the Canton (Ohio) City School System providing educational interpreting.

Workman is a staff interpreter. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond with a bachelor's degree in interpreting. Workman served on the staff of Deaf Services Unlimited in Des Moines, Iowa, and as a mentorship interpreter for Sign Language Associates in Washington, D.C.

Gallaudet Research Institute (2002) estimates about 60,000-80,000 people in Tennessee are deaf or severely hard of hearing. Of that number, between 16,200-23,000 live in the Middle Tennessee area. It can be estimated that 1,000-1,500 people who are deaf or significantly hard of hearing live in Williamson County.

The league also offers a part-time after-school youth program at both its Nashville and Franklin locations beginning this month.

For more information about the interpreting services or the after-school program, call the league's Franklin office at 426-4448 (voice/TTY) or the Nashville office at 248-8828 (voice/TTY).

© 2004 Review Appeal