NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There is a place where people who are hard of hearing can find acceptance and help.
Bridges is an organization that aims to bridge that communication gap.
On this day, Hazmat is having science fun with the kids at Camp Jumpstart.
The giggling campers make it look like any other camp until you see the interpreter. It’s a camp for the deaf and hard of hearing.
“They are just normal children, other than the fact they can’t hear as well,” said Sallie Husse, the President and CEO of Bridges.
The communication gap between both hearing and hard of hearing communities is sometime a woman named Margaret Washington recognized over 80 years ago.
“She actually went off to Washington, D.C. to learn how to do that, and she came back here and started a small class of some children who needed to learn how to speech read, to read lips,” Husse told News 2.
Eight decades and a couple of name changes later, Bridges still serves this community.
Hussey reminds us that “it can be a struggle for those of us that are hearing because again it is a silent disability if you will.”
Eric Workman, the VP and director of interpreting services for Bridges, gives an example of the everyday struggle for those with hearing problems.
“People who have the ability to hear can walk into their doctor, speak to their doctor, disclose any information, it’s pretty seamless. For the deaf and hard of hearing, such an encounter can be nearly impossible. It leaves many existing in a closed off world,” Workman explained.
Mike Helms, who serves as the director of education and community outreach, was born deaf and knows the challenges faced.
Bridges is hoping to eliminate the isolation of those with hearing problems here in Nashville. They offer a number of services from education to interpreting.
For more information on programs and how to help, visit BridgesForDeafandHH.org.