State authorities report that Ventura County includes 51,132 residents with impaired hearing--enough to repopulate the city of Camarillo. Some 7,111 of those residents are essentially deaf, living with severe to profound hearing loss.
The tri-county office of the Greater Los Angeles Council on Deafness (GLAD), at 616 E. Main St. in Ventura, was established last year to serve that population.
The organization, a nonprofit group backed by state funding, offers sign-language classes, information for employers interested in hearing-impaired workers and advice for families with hearing-impaired members.
GLAD's current session of sign-language classes, which officials say is full, includes three dozen students ages 9 to 72, who meet for two hours every Thursday night at Elmhurst Elementary School. Another session is expected to begin in January.
The GLAD office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information is available by calling 648-GLAD.