Feeling at home right here in Frederick

by Jennifer Harbaugh. 0 Comments

With the announcement of Carol Hirsch, a Deaf Frederick resident, starting her campaign to run for Mayor, history is in the making. I started to realize the importance of having Deaf residents in a city like Frederick. For example, Frederick is one of the few cities in the country, and possibly the entire world, that has made strides to truly understand the severity and urgency to accommodate their Deaf residents. We've been able to form our own community here and have set up events that are not only for hearing residents, but events that benefit the Deaf community as well.

I doubt having a Deaf resident running for the position of Mayor would have happened 10 or 15 years ago because the numbers of the Deaf people at that time was much smaller than they are now. The city did not get much exposure to the Deaf community until now. It is important to recognize that there is a reason why Deaf people move to Frederick; besides sending their kids to Maryland School for the Deaf or have a job there.

Frederick Community College has several Deaf Educators who teach American Sign Language classes. Many employees who work in retail are taking courses in order to talk to the Deaf customers in the stores, restaurants, bars, and et al.

Also, Frederick has one of the best interpreting services in the state, and in fact one would be hard pressed to find better services in the country.

Downtown Frederick has events from Deaf Night Out at Canal Bar or Jekyll and Hyde every month for Deaf residents.

Frederick Memorial Hospital has interpreters who are on call 24/7 for any Deaf patient who comes in.

And there are so many more...which I encourage people to post.

I grew up attending Maryland School for the Deaf for 16 years and graduated 8 years ago. I moved around several times for purposes of achieving my higher education goals and I wanted to be far away as possible from my parents, but I never felt at home at any place in any city...until now.

I look forward to growing old along with the city of Frederick. I hope you are, too.

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Jennifer Harbaugh writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.

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