A local college is sponsoring an effort to improve customer service for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in west central Illinois.
Students, faculty and staff from MacMurray College completed a video and a training manual designed to assist human resource departments and local businesses in creating and implementing a welcoming environment for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
The video, “Reach Out; Don’t Freak Out: Serving the Deaf Community” shows and describes what not to do when working with deaf customers, then offering displays of some more appropriate ways of interacting.
The project was first conceptualized by Dr. Joseph Squillace, director of the social work department. Dr. Squillace collaborated with social work students Codi Poe and Megan Gillis, as well as American Sign Language-Interpreting students Randa Freeze and Brittany Foldes.
According to Dr. Squillace, the project grew out of previous research in conjunction with the Jacksonville Commission on Disabilities and Human Relations. The research was done to study access to services in Jacksonville.
English professor Dr. Jeannie Zeck and assistant professor of interpreting Susan Hall assisted in video production with the Office of Communications and Marketing at MacMurray.
Here’s a link to the full video