Many Stories

Many Faces Accessibility Series: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

by | Dec 12, 2022

On Nov. 21, Many Faces held Part 1 of our Accessibility Series to learn more about inclusive practices and accommodations businesses and organizations can make for our Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. Jessalyn Ackerman-Frank, Director of Communication and Civic Engagement for the MN Commission for the Deaf, BlindDeaf and Hard of Hearing, led us through some important information on various levels of hearing impairments and various ways we can accommodate working with and welcoming our Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members. It was an impactful evening with Jessalyn and the four panelists sharing their stories of how they navigate the hearing world around them.

Our thanks to Jessalyn and the MN Commission for the Deaf, BlindDeaf and Hard of Hearing for the following resource list.

7 Inclusive Ways to Welcome Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Community Members

1. Ask the individual what is the best way to communicate or what accommodations they need. 

2. Understand how to hire deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing interpreters and how to use them.  (Agencies: and

3. Be aware of how to request CART services and providers for in person and online meetings.

4. Turn on closed captions at all times. Add captions to all your videos and materials.

5. Have paper and pen/ whiteboard and marker ready for those who communicate in this manner.

6. Be aware of how to use different technology- FM system, Caption apps, Video relay services, CART services, amplified phones, screen reader.

7. Know and understand how to make your materials accessible for braille and screen readers.


Part 2 of our Accessibility Series will be addressing the Blind and Visually Impaired community. As a business, faith community, organization or community member are you wondering how to create an atmosphere where all individuals feel welcome and comfortable? Join us at Century College on Feb. 1st from 5:30 – 7 pm for an evening with the Minnesota State Services for the Blind to learn about devices used to enhance visual aesthetics, discuss what accommodations you can make, and hear first hand the struggles individuals with vision impairments have in establishments similar to yours.


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