[image description: A banner with a title on the right that says “Thuy’s Story”. On the left, an image shows many colored circles and icons connected by colored lines. Notable circles include a staff member looking to the right, the HSDC logo, and a staff member signing. To the left of the title is a large circle with Thuy, a woman with blonde hair.]

Thuy is a warm, vibrant community member who has worked in finance and education for over 30 years. Her primary languages are American Sign Language (ASL) and Vietnamese Sign Language (VSL).

When Thuy’s job was eliminated because of the coronavirus pandemic, her unemployment benefits were inaccessible because of language barriers, leaving her without insurance when she needed it the most. She came to HSDC for assistance.

A photo of HSDC client Thuy signing with HSDC Client Advocate Dino. They are talking from opposite sides of a glass window indoors. On the right, Thuy is standing and signing. On the left, Dino is sitting and watching. Thuy has tan skin with blonde hair. Dino has tan skin, and short salt and pepper hair.

HSDC’s Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) partners with community members who are Deaf, hard of hearing, and late-deafened. Dino, a Client Advocate in Bellingham, communicated with Thuy using ASL and worked to understand her needs. They met safely through virtual appointments, or by signing to each other through a window in the office.

Thuy and Dino successfully completed the required paperwork and contacted the state together to request her unemployment benefits. The benefits supported the basic needs of Thuy’s family for half a year until she found a new job.

DHHS is 100% free, and it is the only program in the Puget Sound Area that provides one-on-one case management support specifically for Deaf, hard of hearing, and late-deafened community members. We partner with our clients to help them with issues like unemployment, housing, ADA accommodations, and much more.

Thuy’s story shows just one of the many ways that HSDC removes communication barriers for thousands of people around the Puget Sound. Your support helps us build a more inclusive and accessible world.

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We wish you warmth and happiness in the new year. If you have any questions about HSDC, you can reach out to us at development@hsdc.org.

If you or somebody you know could benefit from DHHS support, visit our Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services page for more information.

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