Deaf Community Finds Advocacy, Connection, Engagement at Family Center on Deafness

by | May 13, 2022 | Children & Youth, Health & Human Services | 0 comments

The Family Center on Deafness is an essential hub for connection and community building for the deaf and hard of hearing in Pinellas County.

Through programs, events, and services, FCD honors its mission to empower Pinellas County’s deaf community by providing opportunities to enhance communication, education, and independence.

Immersive Programs for Children Affected by Hearing Loss in Pinellas County

The center offers programs for children of all ages, from birth to high school. These programs include classes and activities that promote language development, school readiness, and tutoring.

FCD also holds events and clubs for kids to socialize and have fun together. The kids participate in engaging activities that are age appropriate. The middle schoolers have the robotics club, and the high schoolers can partake in the academic bowl or career camp.

Deafness can impact home life and personal relationships. So, the center provides literacy classes, counseling, and resources for the whole family to fully support its clients.

Events for Both Hearing and Deaf Community Members

Community is truly one of the most important values to FCD. In addition to its programs, the center promotes togetherness and collective support through a welcoming spirit and partnerships with other local nonprofits.

Some events are open to all Pinellas County residents. The SPFC Fresh Pantry, a mobile and COVID-safe food pantry occurring every fourth Thursday, is one such event.

FCD Executive Director Anthony Verdeja expresses that the center’s doors are open to everyone. FCD encourages other groups and organizations to share through meeting space, partnerships, or other creative ways that community members can unite in support of each other.

PCF Operating Grants Ensure High-Quality Services

Through these partnerships, donor support, and grants from organizations, such as Pinellas Community Foundation, the Family Center on Deafness continues to grow.

Anthony stresses that grants from PCF are essential in allowing the center to offer high-quality services. The grants show that PCF recognizes the value of the programs.

He explains the importance of operating grants, which allow FCD to allocate its budget as it sees fit, as opposed to a grant offered for a specific cause or goal. “It gives us flexibility, and we can navigate as needed to ensure that services are being provided and meeting the needs of the family, as opposed to what someone on the outside thinks we need,” says Anthony.

For example, FCD has used a PCF grant to hire a trilingual interpreter to better accommodate native Spanish speakers at local events. PCF recognizes that community-based nonprofits have the experience, knowledge, and solutions to address the community’s needs.

With this trust and understanding, through partnerships and resources, the Family Center on Deafness and similar agencies can do what they do best.

Support the Deaf Community in Pinellas

The PCF Giving to Humanity Fund is the best way to support agencies like the Family Center on Deafness. Each year, donations to the fund are matched by PCF and then granted to nonprofit organizations in Pinellas County.