TLC Receives Fourth Grant to Continue COVID Outreach Education

September 19, 2023

The Learning Center for the Deaf has received its fourth consecutive grant from Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to support COVID-19 outreach and education. Funding will support initiatives through June 30, 2024.

TLC has partnered with Health Care for All (HCFA) and DPH since May 2021, and has received more than $180,000 in total grant funding. What began as the Vaccine Equity Initiative has shifted to a broader approach and partnership to improve equity in public health through community-led interventions.

For the past two years, TLC focused its work on ensuring accessible COVID-19 vaccine information is accessible in American Sign Language (ASL). The organization has provided videos, fact sheets and news briefs in ASL, and has hosted vaccine clinics which offered interpreting services. 

This new cycle of grant funding has expanded to applicable resources that are responsive and inclusive of the social determinants of health. In addition to longstanding mental health trauma and affects from the pandemic, continuing to provide the Deaf and hard of hearing community with accessible health information aligns with the Massachusetts DPH State Priorities, including eliminating health inequities caused by unjust social, economic, and environmental systems, policies and practices; as well as supporting equitable healing centered systems and approaches to mitigate the effects of trauma.

“The Deaf community has historically been underserved in the health care sector. We are grateful to HCFA for recognizing the importance of equitable access to COVID-related health care information,” said Carla Del Pizzo, Senior Community Relations Manager. 

TLC will continue to ensure media releases, announcements and important health information is available in American Sign Language. A dedicated webpage has been set up to centralize all COVID-19 vaccine information and videos.