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Program will help hearing impaired work

By Times staff report

© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 17, 2001

Deaf Service Center of Pasco/Hernando has launched a program seeking to help at least 30 deaf and hearing-impaired people find jobs over the next year.

"We have a very high unemployment rate among deaf and hard of hearing people," executive director Christopher Wagner said through a translator.

The $80,000 program will take a two-prong approach to helping. It will train deaf people with skills necessary for work. It will also reach out to potential employers and offer to teach them how to work with deaf employees, Wagner said.

The deaf center recently received a nearly $45,000 grant from Able Trust, a nonprofit public-private partnership formed by the state Legislature. Its mission is to help Floridians with disabilities find jobs.

Other grants will pay for the rest of the employment program, Wagner said.

The program is free to deaf and hearing-impaired people. Those interested may contact the center, 8610 Galen Wilson Blvd., at (727) 816-1314. The number has a TDD. Those interested also may call toll-free (800) 940-3233.

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