The Sight and Sound Impaired
Social Group in St. Louis
By Beth Jordan
There is a new social group in St. Louis! It’s official. The Sight and Sound Impaired Social Group in St. Louis (SASISTL) held their first meeting on January 17, 2009. As a result of the hard work of coordinator Mary Hale and mailings from our Helen Keller National Center Regional Office, there were 24 people in attendance that day. Nine were people with vision and hearing loss and the rest were family members, interpreters and SSPs. After introductions and talking about the purpose of the group, an overwhelming majority stated that they want to meet monthly.
Meetings have been held on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 1 – 4 pm at the RTR/Deaf Community Center, 8764 Manchester Road, Room 201, in St Louis. Soon the group will meet at a new location as yet to be determined. There are many other organizations that are available for people who are blind, have low vision, or are deaf or hard of hearing. While these organizations are wonderful, it is difficult for a person with vision AND hearing loss to be able to feel comfortable, because communication can be very difficult. In SASISTL there is an emphasis on trying to ease any communication issues. Many individuals feel alone, are home-bound, or have low self-esteem.
Mary says, “By meeting with one another, we can help each other improve the quality of our lives. If we allow ourselves the chance to help one another, we are actually helping ourselves.” For more information about SASISTL, contact Mary by calling 314-544-3252 voice or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update from Mary Hale--SASISTL has been quite busy since this article appeared earlier this year! We recently had an SSP training workshop where 32 people attended–SSPs, interpreters, deaf-blind people and professionals. We also just had a social event on April 18th, where we played games, discussed plans and raised funds for future SASISTL events, and just had fun! Contact Mary at her phone number or email address above for more information about future SASISTL events.
Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted from the Winter 2009 issue of “Keeping in Touch,” the newsletter of Helen Keller National Center’s Region 7, the Great Plains Region. Thanks go to Beth Jordan, HKNC Regional Representative, Great Plains Region, for her permission to reprint the article.