Over 7 million people in America do not speak or hear, they live in a world of silence. Their life is lived through the help of others who interpret for them. Without this interpreter, they are, in effect unplugged from the world around them. They are unable to effectively communicate with people who lack the ability to understand sign language.
This is a critical obstacle. Imagine an employee in a business meeting, assisted by an interpreter; or a customer service specialist, an employee in a call center, retail store, even a waitress. How does the hearing impaired, “the silenced community,” operate in an everyday world of employment? They don’t. Instead they are dismissed to the few jobs where communication is irrelevant: dishwasher, busboy, trash man, subsidized housing and struggling to balance even the most basic budget.
While alternatives exist; schools, special needs programs, etc., how much can it really prepare a community of disenfranchised people for a future of unlimited opportunity? How can you educate, train and certify the individual trapped in silence and place them in leadership, fund their start-ups, and encourage entrepreneurship; if they are shackled to a living translator or a notepad full of quick scribbles?
7 million Americans and growing. People who are intelligent, funny, personable, capable, who deal with obstacles you can’t imagine, every day of their life. People who have untapped skills, unspoken talents, and a lifetime of pent up passion, this is the problem project Re-Voice addresses.