My Experiences of Living at 3 Different Senior Housing
By Mary Susan Case, AAT Resident
The first one was at LaVista Senior Community in Texas that has 200 units built for Deaf Seniors. Due to lack of service to meet the needs of Deaf whereas the office managers were not fluent using ASL and no Deaf maintenance workers, around 40 units are occupied by Deaf and 160 are occupied by hearing. However, Deaf residents gather in the community room more than hearing residents because Deaf residents love to socialize where they chat with ASL, play card games, etc. After my husband passed away, I wanted to move back to Minnesota to be near my children and grandchildren.
The second one was at Coventry Senior Housing in St. Paul, MN. One deaf resident and I lived there. Unfortunately, this Deaf resident and I were not compatiable. Hearing Seniors chat in the lobby/community room daily and I felt "left out". I have leadership skills but at Coventry I did not use it as I had problem communicating with Hearing Seniors. Two years later I moved to Iowa and lived with Deaf daughter in her house.
I moved to Apache ASL Trails as soon as it opened, I found HAPPINESS there.
The reasons are:
1. Strobe with four different colors to let me know which is
ringing (videophone, doorbell, and north/south entrance)
2. Office managers and maintenance man use ASL to communicate with residents
3. ASL communication among the residents
5. Self-esteem growth
6. Opportunity as a volunteer
7. Made new friends with whom I am compatible
8. ASL interpreters provided for meetings, classes, and workshops
I have seen how happy Deaf residents are and their self-esteem grew. Some of the Deaf residents learning how to volunteer for Coffee Chat, holiday parties, potlucks, etc.
I ask HUD to please not to destroy my happiness as well as the other AAT Deaf residents' happiness.
My opinion is HUD violate Human Rights. Deaf Seniors have the right to choose where they want to live at.
To conclude, I would like to share with you Helen Keller's quotation.