Two community partners recently awarded The Learning Center for the Deaf more than $50,000 in grant funding to support of its strategic plan to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion.
The MetroWest Health Foundation awarded The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) $30,000, while the Sudbury Foundation recently announced more than $22,000 in funding, also in support of TLC's strategic plan.
This past summer, TLC announced its dynamic and working plan, which includes short- and long-term goals. Now, the organization is working toward implementation of the components of the plan.
The grants will help to support consulting services, assessment, and professional development, as well as communication access for meetings, focus groups, surveys, and professional development.
Inclusivity is one of five stated core values of TLC, and the organization is proud of its strides as an employer of choice for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing (nearly half of its employees self-identify as deaf or hard of hearing). TLC is an LGBTQ-affirming employer, with an active Rainbow Staff group and student Gay-Straight Alliance groups at the middle and high school level, in addition to having Deaf and hard of hearing and LGBTQ leaders at all levels of the organization.
With funding from the MetroWest Health Foundation and Sudbury Foundation, TLC will substantially accelerate its racial and health equity work by fulfilling the following main components of the strategic plan:
1) Professional development and training for staff in a culturally-responsive practice that includes mentoring and coaching;
2) Consultants to partner with the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer (CEIO) to conduct gap analysis on all programs; develop guidelines and data reporting to identify inequities and keep track of talent data processes.
This second component will result in key recommendations, and ultimately, changes to policies and practices at TLC that perpetuate racism and inequities in accessing healthcare.
TLC’s organization-wide professional development on anti-racism, which includes culturally responsive and trauma-informed education, treatment, and care, will engage nurses, educators and administrations in recognizing their cultural biases and how it affects their roles in delivering care. The strategic plan aims to reduce racial and cultural disparities in service provision, and improve health equity across programs.