Inland Regional Center Hosts its First Disaster Preparedness Class for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

Community EngagementGeneral Announcements

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December 7, 2023

Inland Regional Center, a leading organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities, is proud to announce the launch of its first-ever American Sign Language (ASL) Disaster Preparedness Class. This groundbreaking initiative is designed to empower the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community by providing essential skills and knowledge to prepare for emergencies effectively.

Inland Regional Center recognizes the unique challenges faced by the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community during emergencies and disasters. Communication barriers can exacerbate already stressful situations. To address this critical issue, Inland Regional Center has developed an innovative program that focuses on enhancing the disaster preparedness and resilience of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Key Highlights of the ASL Disaster Preparedness Class:

  1. Inclusive Curriculum: The class is specifically tailored to accommodate the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. All materials and instructions are presented in American Sign Language to ensure accessibility and understanding.
  2. Comprehensive Training: Participants will learn essential disaster preparedness skills, including emergency planning, communication strategies, and evacuation procedures.
  3. Experienced Instructors: The classes will be conducted by experienced ASL-fluent instructors with expertise in disaster preparedness and response.
  4. Community Engagement: Inland Regional Center aims to foster a sense of community and collaboration among participants, encouraging them to support one another during emergencies.

Dr. CJ Cook, Program Administrator of Community Engagement, said, “We believe that by equipping the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community with the knowledge and skills to respond to disasters effectively, we can enhance their safety and well-being during times of crisis. This initiative aligns with our mission to promote inclusion, independence, and autonomy for individuals with developmental disabilities.”

The inaugural ASL Disaster Preparedness Class was held on December 6, 2023, at the Inland Regionals Centers conference building and hosted by IRCs Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist Estefania “Fania” Pena in collaboration with IRCs Emergency Services Coordinator Marquis Quinton and Client Advocates, Greg Harrison, and Stephen Donahue.

Inland Regional Center remains dedicated to fostering a more inclusive and prepared community. For media inquiries or additional information, please contact:

Monica Munguia, Manager of Community Engagement at [email protected]

Inland Regional Center is a springboard to greater independence for people with developmental disabilities in the Inland Empire. We are a non-profit agency that has provided support to people with intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy since 1972. Today, we provide case management and service coordination for more than 51,000 Clients in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.



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Community Engagement

Inland Regional Center's Community Engagement Unit can be reached at [email protected]

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