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Conference to Help First Responders Work With Deaf Community

Buffalo 9/19/12 Conference to Help First Responders Work With Deaf Community


Contact: Jay Bonafede

Phone: (716) 878-2372

Cell: (716) 435-7468

A fire or other disaster is often a traumatic experience for those affected. The situation can become even more stressful when those affected by and responding to the emergency have issues communicating with each other, which is often the case for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Late-Deafened.

These issues will be addressed at the Deaf Community Alliance Network (DCAN) 2012 Regional Conference, “Strengthening Communities: Preparing for Emergencies with the Deaf & Hard of Hearing,” scheduled for Friday, October 5 at the Erie County Fire Safety Training Center. This goal of this one-day session is to provide firefighters, law enforcement, EMS and first responders with information about new technologies and communications strategies that will assist them should they encounter a Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Late-Deafened person during an emergency situation. Crisis service & human service providers, educators and healthcare professionals are also encouraged to attend.

The keynote presenter will be Mr. Andrew Perlman, who brings his national recognized presentation, “Emergency Responders and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community: Taking the First Steps to Disaster Preparedness.” Mr. Perlman’s years of experience in fire service and active participation in the Deaf community provide the basis for developing relationships between emergency management, public health and disability communities.

The DCAN 2012 Regional Conference is scheduled for Friday, October 5 from 8am-3pm at the Erie County Fire Safety Training Center, located at 3359 Broadway in Cheektowaga, behind the Cheektowaga Senior Center. Registration is $25 and includes lunch, and sign language interpreters will be provided. The registration form is available at and must be completed by September 26.

The DCAN 2012 Regional Conference is sponsored by Niagara Bulk Service Ltd. of Lewiston, presented in partnership with: the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties; Deaf Adult Services; Independent Living of Niagara; Buffalo Fire Department; Erie County Emergency Services; and Erie County Dept. of Senior Living. DCAN is devoted to promoting region-wide support towards increasing communication access for individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened and/or signing individuals living in Western New York. For more information, please contact Deaf Adult Services at (716) 833-1637 or

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at