Several Deaf seniors in Arizona saw their Deaf friends moved to various nursing and assisted living homes all over the state. They saw how so lonesome their friends became. Deaf tenants are often ignored by the management and neighbors who cannot communicate with them or are too lazy to write English on paper. We use American Sign Language (ASL).
So, a group of Deaf seniors took action and established ADSCC in 1955. Basically, the mission is to build and operate retirement homes for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind people in Arizona. The concept is to build an environment where everybody talks ASL, thus preventing extreme loneliness among the tenants. ADSCC has an office in Apache ASL Trails in Tempe, AZ. We rent a hall for meetings. We have about 80 members, most of them above 50 years of age. ADSCC is a 501(c)3 tax exempt charitable organization approved by the IRS. We have By-Laws, Articles of Incorporation and Strategic Plan.
The Work Toward Our Goal:
After three failed attempts to get a funding from Housing and Urban Development, we looked for a professional developer. Erich Schwenker of Cardinal Capital Management (CCM) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin invited me to visit its first Deaf retirement home, a three story building with 43 apartments near Milwaukee. We signed an agreement with CCM on January 29, 2005.
At CCM's advice we set up Arizona Team consisting of on various areas, today it is a general committee with board, officers, and committees. AZ Team meets every month and provides information, decisions and encouragements to CCM whose main role is raising funds and planning on a building. On June 17, 2010 we had a ground-breaking ceremony on a site on 2428 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ.
Apache ASL Trails (AAT):
It is the name of the new complex of two buildings. The first one, Phase 1 affordable rental based on income levels, will have 75 apartments on top three floors. The first floor will have entry lobby, front desk, manager's office, Valley Center of the Deaf office, Vista Medical Group offices, a large community hall with kitchen, exercise room, barber-beauty shop, and three classrooms. The vertical movement is two elevators and two stairways, one at each wing. AAT will be operated by CCM for 15 years from July 2011 Grand Opening.
AAT is Deaf Friendly:
Each apartment has a set of four flashing alert lights, special range hood light for kitchen stove, no wall between kitchen and living room, non-glare windows and lights and an access to videophone intercom at both North and South entrances. Deaf-Blind tenants will have pocket vibrator to alert them of the hall door, phone, etc. Tactile texts or Braille will be added on all signs.