Uniting in Grief and Solidarity for Victims in Maine Shooting
We, at Communication Service for the Deaf, are deeply saddened at the devastating news of the shooting that claimed lives on October 25th in Lewiston, Maine. Every shooting we learn about is never easy. This one hits to the core, knowing that Joshua Seal, Bill Brackett, Steve Vozzella, and Bryan MacFarlane were members of our beloved Deaf community.
Our team does not only want to acknowledge this news that shook everyone in the signing community but also provide support. In doing so, here is the list of resources available for you below.
National Deaf Therapy
In the face of such a tragedy, a resource that has been instrumental in providing mental health support to the Deaf community is National Deaf Therapy. They have a team of licensed therapists who are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and culturally sensitive to the Deaf experience. Accessing therapy can be a crucial step in the healing process, and National Deaf Therapy offers a safe and understanding space for those who need it.
The 988 Lifeline is a national emergency helpline dedicated to providing support and assistance to individuals facing emotional or mental health crises. You can connect with a compassionate and trained crisis counselor who can offer support in ASL, making it easier for those who communicate through sign language to access the help and understanding they require during challenging moments. If you feel the immediate need to talk to someone, you can call 988 on your videophone, or go to www.988lifeline.org and click on ASL Now in order to communicate with someone in ASL. *
*If you are unfamiliar on how to use 988 Lifeline in ASL, visit this link to learn more.
Talking to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
Whether you are an educator in the classroom or have Deaf/Hard of Hearing children, we can only imagine how difficult this can be to discuss this with them. Here are some resources to help you start those conversations that are needed.
Supporting on the Road Ahead
Losing four members of our Deaf community is a loss we will continue to feel deeply in the years ahead. We must unite to support each other during this challenging time. Whether you knew the victims personally or not, your support and compassion can make a difference.
Here are some ways we can stand together:
- Support: Many families are grieving and facing financial burdens due to this tragedy. Consider supporting them by donating and/or purchasing from fundraisers during this time of need.
- Advocate for Change: Advocate for stricter gun control laws to help prevent similar incidents in the future. Contact your state representative to share your thoughts.
- Remember and Celebrate: Keep the memory of Joshua, Bill, Steve, and Bryan alive by celebrating their contributions and ensuring their stories are never forgotten.
It is clear that our Deaf community has been profoundly affected. But in times of adversity, our unity and resilience shine the brightest. We remember and honor the lives of Joshua Seal, Bill Brackett, Steve Vozzella, and Bryan MacFarlane, and we offer our unwavering support to their families.