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Organization Spotlight: Austin Deaf Club

August 23, 2023

Organization Spotlight: Austin Deaf Club

August 23, 2023
August 23, 2023


Deaf clubs are a vital aspect of Deaf culture and history. As technology has advanced, Deaf clubs have dwindled in numbers. Most deaf clubs are now kept alive by seniors with events and programs that are tailored to the similar age group. Austin Deaf Club stands out as a vibrant and active organization that not only has their own Deaf club location, they have a strong group of board volunteers and appeal to several generations of locals in the Austin, Texas area! What makes them unique? What can be replicated to other deaf clubs to thrive? Read below to learn more about what they’re all about!  

What inspired the founding of your organization, and what is its mission? 

Austin Deaf Club started in 1946 by a group of Deaf people who were looking for a place to socialize and connect with others in our community. Over the years, we’ve grown and evolved, but our mission stays the same. We aim to promote social, cultural, and recreational activities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing folks in the Austin, Texas area.  

What are some of the programs or services that your organization offers to the community, and how do they make a difference? 

We provide an array of programs and services related to education and training programs, outreach and advocacy, and community building!  

In the area of education and training programs, we offer workshops, classes and training sessions to help our members develop new skills, grow their knowledge, and improve themselves. An example of this would be when we hosted financial literacy classes to help low-income families better manage their finances and build wealth.  

With outreach and advocacy, it is important that we focus on raising awareness about important issues and advocate for change. We would host public events, do research, share our findings, and lobby our policymakers.  

We value providing ways for social connections and a sense of belonging as part of our community building efforts. We also believe in creating opportunities for people to meet and connect based on shared interests. We would host events/activities regularly such as movie nights.  

How does your organization involve volunteers and community members in its work, and what impact do they have? 

We focus on recruiting volunteers and community members through social media or local community centers. We try to contact local schools, universities, and other organizations to encourage their members to volunteer. When we have new volunteers, we train them to learn more about Austin Deaf Club and how to do certain tasks/duties for our events when needed.  

We also welcome our members to get involved in our activities such as serving on boards/committees or provide feedback on our programs/services. As our members contribute to our Austin Deaf Club, we value giving recognition through awards, certificates, or other forms of public recognition to show our appreciation. We believe this helps build goodwill and inspires others to be involved in our work here at Austin Deaf Club.  

We value our volunteers and members so much because we believe they can bring new ideas, skills, and perspectives to our organization. They help us improve our effectiveness and impact on the wider community. It also helps our deaf club expand reach and capacity, build relationships, and increase awareness of our mission and programs. 

Can you share a specific success story or achievement that your organization has had, and what impact did it had on the community? 

We believe we achieved success in raising awareness of issues facing the Deaf community in the Austin, TX area and advocating for their rights and needs. We have provided valuable resources and services such as social events, educational programs, and advocacy services that helped build a sense of community and support among Deaf folks and their families. We’re proud to say that our organization has grown to over 200+ members recently! 

What is in your organization’s future plans? 

We plan to begin collecting information about our Deaf community in the Austin, TX area by doing interviews, focus groups, analyzing demographic data and more. Once we have the results that we need, we plan on developing a strategic plan that clearly indicates the goals/objectives of the future of the Austin Deaf Club’s work. This will help us identify and better serve the needs of our community that we serve. 

We also want to build collaborative relationships with other community-based organizations and government agencies to leverage resources and expertise, build partnerships, and advocate for policy change. We also will continue to focus on improving and expanding our current programs/services.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in getting involved in their community? 

Our advice is to get involved by identifying your interests and goals. Once you identify them, you can find Deaf events and/or organizations that align with your interests. That is how you contribute to the Deaf community! Being a volunteer can boost your skills and grow your network. Then you can add your volunteer work to your resume. This will allow potential employers to see that you have more to offer!  

Do you have any content or upcoming events in the near future that you’d like to share?

Yes! We host regular events including Lucky 13, Game Night, and General Meetings. The events can vary depending on the month. Please visit our website – www.austindeafclub.org for more (and latest) information. Also, be sure to follow us on social media too!  

Facebook: Austin Deaf Club (https://www.facebook.com/austindeafclub)  

Instagram: @austindeafclub (https://www.instagram.com/austindeafclub)  

Twitter: @austindeafclub (https://www.twitter.com/austindeafclub)  

YouTube: Austin Deaf Club (https://youtube.com/@austindeafclub)  

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