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Did you know that September is National Deaf Awareness Month?

While many employers are dedicated to inclusive workplaces, knowing where to find deaf candidates and properly accommodate their needs can be difficult. Fortunately for DirectEmployers Members, they have access to our broad network of disability partners, including those focused on deaf and hard of hearing.

One such partner, NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing, works to close the communication gap and challenges between employers and job seekers. Operating in 24 northeastern counties of California, NorCal Services provides  services designed not only for the deaf and hard of hearing, but also by the deaf and hard of hearing themselves. Learn more about their programs below and if you are an employer with jobs in Northern California, reach out to your Membership team to find out how you can work with this great organization!

Tell us a little bit about NorCal Services.

NorCal Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a non-profit, community based organization serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals, their families, and the general public in 24 northeastern counties of California. We are one of a few organizations established by Deaf and Hard of Hearing people to serve their community, and as a result, the services and programs at NorCal are uniquely designed “of, by, and for” the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The Director and Staff Members at NorCal represent the spectrum of experiences, educational backgrounds and communication modes of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.

Founded in 1977, NorCal was one of three organizations chosen to participate in a historical research demonstration project. This demonstration project led to the creation of the Deaf Access Program (DAP) in 1980, currently overseen by the California Department of Social Services Office of Deaf Access. Today, NorCal is one of 8 organizations contracting with the Office of Deaf Access to provide DAP services throughout the state.

What types of services do you provide?

For job seekers, we offer free use of Cal Jobs (California’s online resource to help job seekers and employers navigate the state’s workforce services) & Labor Market Information (LMI), as well as assistance with the job search, including resume and cover letter review, job application guidance, mock interviews, and most importantly communication and technology access.

For employers, we offer free Deaf Awareness Training, follow-up services, as well as interpreters for interviews, orientation, and training at no charge. We also are continually growing our partnership with employers, focusing on how we can work together to create positive experiences for Deaf & Hard of Hearing in the workplace.

Do you provide DE Members with a discount? If so, what are the details?

We are a community-based non-profit organization that provides services, referrals, and resources for the Deaf Community. Therefore, the majority of our services are available free of charge, with the exception of provision of sign language interpreters.

Do you have any upcoming events you would like to make our Members aware of?

Yes, we have monthly events for the Deaf Community and anyone is welcome! We encourage you to check out the events posted here on our website.

Be sure to follow NorCal on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay in-the-know of the latest events and program offerings!

Kacie Clark is a Marketing Manager specializing in social media and communications for DirectEmployers Association.

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