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Deaf Immigrants

October 29, 1995

* The article on deaf immigrants, "A Refuge From Silent Isolation" (Oct. 16), is an excellent one, bringing to attention the diversity and needs of a growing population which includes individuals who are different, but at the same time alike, no matter what country they come from, because of their communication needs.

The immigrants who arrive without language, signed, written or spoken, are also in need of other human services, and an organization which has recognized this need and has served the deaf and hard-of-hearing for almost 30 years is the Greater Los Angeles Council on Deafness Inc., a nonprofit organization known as GLAD. Serving a large clientele under a contract with the California Department of Deaf Access, GLAD helps deaf immigrants with interpreting, immigration, referrals to schools, job training information and a myriad of other resources in Los Angeles, Orange County, Bakersfield, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura County.

As the article notes, many foreign-born deaf learn English and American Sign Language fluently thanks to the services available in Southern California. With assistance of agencies like GLAD to support them many deaf and hard-of-hearing immigrants are now taxpaying American citizens. It all adds to the diversity of the deaf community and enhances the culture of the larger community that we call Southern California.

MARGE KLUGMAN

Los Angeles

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