PDAC - Supporting AA Groups and Members in Carring the message to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alcoholics

 
decorative divider

Larger text | Normal text

AA Resources

PDAC Brochure for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (PDF)
PDAC Brochure for the Hearing (PDF)

Access needs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alcoholics
AA Special Needs / Accessibilities Information from GSO
AA Meetings and Articles in Print & Video Tapes
DAC Resources & Tips
How to find a certified freelance interpreter or an interpreter agency in your city/state
Access for Late-deafened & Oral-deaf AA Members that do not use sign language

Access needs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alcoholics

When addressing access needs please ask the Deaf, late-deafened or Hard of Hearing AA member what form of translation works best for them. There is no one right answer to this question. Deaf, late-deafened, and Hard of Hearing individuals are not all educated in the same way.  Some attended Deaf institutes, some were mainstreamed, and others attended Oral schools. Some people became deaf (late-deafened) after they learned to speak and read English. The primary language used varies between individuals. American Sign Language is often the primary language used by people who are born deaf. For many Deaf American Sign Language is their first/primary language and they do not always have the same fluency or understanding of written English. Also, some people who are born deaf do not speak/voice.


AA Special Needs / Accessibilities Information from GSO

A.A. Guideline - Serving Alcoholics with Special Needs

A.A. Guideline - Carrying the A.A. to the Deaf Alcoholic

Special Needs/Accessibilities Workbook

Fall 2006 About A.A. Newsletter

Suggested Special Needs / Accessibilities Committee Activities

E-mail G.S.O.'s Special Needs Desk

AA Guidelines


AA Meetings and Articles in Print & Video Tapes

Box 4-5-9 - News and Notes from the General Service Office of A.A.

AA Grapevine - meeting in print, written, edited, and illustrated by AA members.
(current issue is free, archives require a paid subscription)
October 2004 issue – Helping an Alcoholic Who Is Deaf by Tracy Bell Koster, MSW, MS
If you're at an AA meeting and a deaf person shows up for support, how can you be helpful? Here is some useful information about deaf people and how you can be supportive of them.

AA Literature and Audiovisual Material for Special Needs (F-10SN)
The catalog includes AA literature available in ASL.
Write to: General Service Office, PO Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY  10163
Email: specialneeds@aa.org
Phone: Call the Order Entry Department weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:45 PM Eastern time: 212-870-3312


PDAC Resources & Tips

Sponsorship - For information about sponsorship or finding a sponsor, please email pdxaccess@gmail.com

Communication Tips - General tips and Deaf & Hard of Hearing Communication Tips

Keep paper and pencils easily available at your meeting as a communication aid.

Public Information - Provide accessible meeting information to your local AA central office using the appropriate meeting code. Read more about this here Public Information from PDAC.

    Meeting Codes
  • (ASL) meeting conducted in American Sign Language
  • (SI) Sign Language Interpreted
  • (VI) Voice Interpreted (Meeting conducted in American Sign Language with an ASL interpreter to voice for hearing members)
  • (SIW) non-AA certified sign language interpreter welcome for Deaf AA members
  • (ALD’s) Assistive Listening Devices for the Hard of Hearing http://www.dhh12s.com/ALD.pdf These systems transmit sound via hearing aids or head sets. They include infrared, loop and FM systems. Portable systems may be available from the same audiovisual equipment suppliers that service conferences and meetings.
  • (RTC) Real-time captioning/CART

Provide current list of interpreted meetings to Deaf community resources.

Fellowship opportunities - To AA members who have sign language skills >>> attend the interpreted / ASL meetings. Help carry the message to AA members that are Deaf.

Closed AA Meetings - Request all closed groups to take a group conscience to see if the group is willing to allow a non-AA certified/professional interpreter for Deaf AA members to attend. Information from GSO regarding closed AA meetings listed below. Download a printable request form

Access for Deaf AA members
Employing Special Workers - using Certified Professional Sign Language Interpreters at your meeting

Serving the Alcoholic with Special Needs (F-107) Service Piece, released April 2001

Special Needs Committees and local service offices maintain lists of qualified interpreters who are willing and able to sign for AA meetings and events. Providing a signer takes money, and if the group cannot afford the cost, there are sources for help. Some local intergroups/central offices provide resources in their annual budgets for helping to hire interpreters, and some area committees have set up special funds. Also, the alcoholic may bring his or her own interpreter to a meeting.

Experience suggests that most groups will agree to have a non-AA attend it's closed meeting to act as an interpreter for the deaf alcoholic.  Professional interpreters adhere to a strict code of ethics which assures the confidentiality of the AA meetings.
If you are unfamiliar with hiring or working with an interpreter please request the agency or freelance interpreter to fully discuss their policies and procedures with you "prior" to the event.

How to find a certified freelance interpreter or an interpreter agency in your city/state

  • Ask the Deaf AA members to recommend a certified interpreter.
  • Contact your local AA Access Committee.
  • Find a certified interpreter through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf website.
  • Contact a local Deaf or Hard of Hearing agency and request a referral.
  • Call your local college student disabled services. They may be able to refer you to some certified interpreters.

How to work with an interpreter - Professional interpreters follow the Code of Professional Conduct. View this and lots of other great information available from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. 

Translation lag time: As with using any form of translation/interpreter there is lag time between what is spoken and what is translated/interpreted.  It is best to remind the people who will be speaking to slow the pace down, take brief pauses, and when reading any formal written document to read slowly.  Note:  People read at a faster pace than normal speech.

Access for Late-deafened & Oral-deaf AA Members that do not use sign language

  • RTC - Real-time Captioning also known as CART
  • Hard of Hearing Assistive Listening Devices
  • Oral Deaf – Oral Interpreters
  • System for transcribing speech to text. for example, Typewell or Dragon
  • Computervoice recognition software for one-on-one meetings

RTC/CART
Real-Time Captioning / Communications Access Real Time (or Computer Aided Real Time)
Services may be performed either on-site or from a remote location via a modem. As words are spoken, the real-time captions appear on a screen (computer/TV monitor or projected), affording the deafened and hard of hearing access to any event. Captions can be displayed for one person, an entire room, or broadcast to multiple locales, and the text is readily available for later use.

How it works: Spoken language is recorded on computer-compatible court stenograph machine linked to a compatible computer by a machine shorthand reporter or steno typist. The computer is equipped with software that translates the steno writing into readable English text. The software maintains a customized stenographic dictionary that is updated by the captionist as new vocabulary is encountered. The text is stored in word processing files and is easily transferred to diskette, printed as notes, transmitted via e-mail, or incorporated into a database.

Set up tips:  Provide the RTC with the meeting agenda and any terminology specific to AA.  Use PC projector and large viewing screen placed in a position in which there is good visibility.  It is sometimes helpful for the RTC to where an ALD to improve ability to hear what is being said.  As with using any form of translation/interpreters there is lag time between what is spoken and what is translated/interpreted. It is best to remind the people who will be speaking to slow the pace down, take brief pauses, and when reading any formal written document to read slowly. Note: People read at a faster pace than normal speech.

Suggest contacting your state office that has services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

Internet search engine or yellow page key word tips - real-time captioning, CART Computer Aided Real Time, stenographers.

decorative divider

Larger text | Normal text

to top of page

Disclaimer
Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. This page last updated September 16, 2009.