Southwest Louisiana has the highest population of DeafBlind citizens in the United States due to Usher Syndrome. Blindness is also prevalent due to high rates of Diabetes and Retinitis Pigmentosa. The community of Lafayette should be educated and made aware of the needs, rights, and abilities of this disability group. Isolation and lack of communication, especially during the Covid-19 crisis has limited the independence of the DeafBlind and Blind population. Due to the lack of communication, these individuals miss out on pertinent information about major current events, and disasters/emergencies.
This three year program will bring together resources for the DeafBlind and Blind population in Lafayette. Providing meetings and support groups to assist with building self-advocacy skills and become more informed about current events, disasters and emergencies. Also, giving the residents and city government the information and education to better understand the needs of this disability group.
• Support Groups and Low Vision Forums – Informational monthly meetings promoting self-advocacy, peer to peer networking, and mental health sessions.
• Phone, Text and E-Mail Emergency Connection – Accessible access to communication of resources for DeafBlind and Blind individuals, emergency weather updates, and City/Parish news.
• Transportation, Interpreting and SSP(Support Service Providers) – Provide pre-scheduled transportation, interpreter and SSP services for program calendar meetings, consumer organization meetings and city/parish functions.
• Marketing – Educating the Lafayette community about the value of including their DeafBlind and Blind neighbors in local functions, meetings, and employment.
The Price Tag
$600,000 for 3 years