Imagine living in a world where no one knows your language and you must navigate through public challenges such as employment, medical care, public services and your social life.
What if it is happening to you?
48 million Americans
are deaf or hard of hearing.
To "fix" the problem is not to cure deafness, but to build a more inclusive environment for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. It starts with YOU.
Amanda’s vision for Access Vine came about by one main thought...The Golden Rule! Her training is designed around this principle, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Diversity and inclusion require distinct acknowledgment, understanding, and action. It can be assessed as the extent to which deaf and hard of hearing people are to be valued, respected, accepted and encouraged to fully participate in any service, business or organization.
The above approach has helped Amanda with her mission to promote inclusiveness through her professional career as an advocate, educator, a Deaf community advocate, mentor, leader, and a presenter all across Texas.
Amanda worked as a Communication Access Specialist II with the Health and Human Services Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services in Austin, Texas. She assisted with program goals, guidelines, procedures, and policies and provided consultative and technical services and training to agency program staff and other governmental agencies, both public and private. She served as a contract service provider for consumers and the general public. Amanda has utilized her personal and professional experience as a Deaf woman in positions of leadership and advocacy with adults and youth for the past 10 years. In addition to her work for the state, she has been active in several professional organizations, including Deaf Women United and Miss Deaf Texas organization.
The goal is to learn from the subject matter experts, community leaders, and each other, through interactive workshops, company events, and daily conversations.
Let's take on this journey to challenge everyone that deaf and hard of hearing people across the globe are capable of doing the same kind of work as everyone else. The ultimate goal is to teach each other to do better work. It’s more than just a phrase. It’s how we treat each other and our customers.
Give yourself the ability to adapt to changes resulting from increased diversity in the workforce. Expand
your knowledge about different topics such as work accommodations, communication strategies,
and so much more.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Thank you for taking the time to train us this weekend, I’ve learned in many areas how to advocate for yourself.
I wanted to say thank you again for not saying “Oh poor you”. It means a great deal to me and to the residents you didn’t say that instead, you said, “Let’s work on this.” We want to be heard, we need the help just like everyone else. We are from “another world” compared to the rest of Texas. But we are part of Texas and our voices tend to be covered up. Our hands are chained and we cant sign our needs.
I can’t wait for part two and be able to educate the folks to unchain themselves and sign as loud as they can to advocate themselves.
— Marla A. Martinez, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Access Specialist
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center