Partnership for Families, Children and Adults

Spotlight on 2021 COVID-19 Emergency Response Microgrant Awardees

Supporting Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard-of-Hearing People in Tennessee and Georgia

The Partnership for Families, Children and Adults (Partnership), is a comprehensive non-profit human services agency, serving residents of southeast Tennessee and north Georgia for over a hundred years. The Partnership’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program (DHH), founded in 1974, has been working to establish accessibility best practices in the region, and forging collaborative opportunities between deaf and hearing people.


Through the Partnership’s DHH program, Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard-of-Hearing (DDBHH) individuals have access to computers and the internet, videophones, financial and technology literacy resources, as well as peer counseling and social and cultural activities, including ASL classes for community members. The program also provides critical client assistance and referrals for employment and job training, educational and legal advocacy, and support accessing healthcare.

Inequity and Direct Aid in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, DDBHH people have experienced additional barriers to accessing essential services. For example, high rates of unemployment and linguistically inaccessible information on how to access COVID-related aid has led to a documented increase in food insecurity for DDBHH people and particularly multiply marginalized members of the deaf community, across the United States.

In response, the CSD Unites Community Foundation has awarded the Partnership a microgrant to help combat food insecurity and provide other critical supports—such as rent and utility assistance, medication assistance, and gas for transportation—through direct aid to community members in southeast Tennessee and northern Georgia. The Partnership notes that they have received the most requests for rent and utility assistance, and have focused most of their efforts in this area.

Interacting with community members gives the Partnership “an informal opportunity to see how people are doing – physically, mentally, emotionally,” said Kevin Slater, a DHH Staff Interpreter. “[With the microgrant] we are also to continue our work of providing financial assistance to our families who find themselves in need of support for rent, utilities, food, and transportation,” said Kevin Slater, a DHH Staff Interpreter. “We are thankful for this funding!”

CSD Unites Community Foundation

More Microgrant Awardees

Want to learn more about the awardee cohort? Check out 5 other organizations who received COVID-19 Emergency Response microgrant funding here, or stay up to date with Foundation news by subscribing to our newsletter.

Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults’ DHH program is dedicated to ensuring that Tennesse and Georgia-based Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard-of-Hearing children and adults have access to critical advocacy services. When you donate to CSD Unites Community Foundation, you’re helping us dedicate funds and resources to multiple nonprofits like the Partnership, so they’re better-equipped to sustain or grow the critical services they provide for our deaf communities. Make a one-time or monthly contribution to the CSD Unites Community Foundation here!

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