Deaf Community in Washington, DC

Washington D.C. is home to a large concentration of deaf people

Washington DC
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The deaf community in Washington D.C., or as some like to refer to it, the Washington-Baltimore area, has one of the largest concentrations of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. No one knows how many, but the estimate has been in the hundreds of thousands. 

Area-Wide Event Calendar

The metro DC area is home to Gallaudet University, a liberal arts university for the deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing.

Area residents can easily check the Gallaudet University calendar online to see if there is anything happening at Gallaudet University. 

If you live in the District of Columbia itself, here are deaf and hard of hearing related things in the city.

Interpreters

For people seeking interpreting services in DC, services include:

  • Gallaudet Interpreting Services
  • Partners in Sign, Inc.
  • Viscom Interpreting, Inc.
  • Deaf Access Solutions
  • Capitol Sign Interpreters

Movie Theaters

These DC-area theaters have captioned films. In addition, most of the city's museum theaters have IMAX captioned films. Plus, some of the Smithsonian museums offer free foreign subtitled films. Check ​CaptionFish.com for the most current information on available captioned movies. What follows is a sampling of theaters in the city with captioning:

  • AMC Mazza Galleria 7 (rear window)
  • AMC Union Station 9 (rear window)
  • Loews Georgetown 14 (rear window)
  • Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14 (open captions)

Organizations for Deaf and Hard of Hearing DC Residents

Washington DC is not home to the headquarters of any national deaf and hard of hearing organization, but it does have chapters of these organizations.

  • District of Columbia Area Black Deaf Advocates (chapter of National Black Deaf Advocates)

Schools and Colleges in DC

DC is home to Gallaudet University and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, a high school, and the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School. There is also a private oral charter school, the River School.

Sign Language

If you live in Washington, DC and are interested in learning sign language, here are some resources.

Religious Worship

DC is home to Tifereth Israel Congregation, a synagogue in Northwest WashingtonDC that provides services for the deaf. Churches for the deaf in DC and that have services for the deaf include:

  • Gallaudet University, in its Chapel Hall
  • Bethesda Baptist Church (near Gallaudet) 
  • Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Washington, DC 
  • National Community Church - Offers interpreted services. Check Theaterchurch.com for locations and times.

    Social Services

    The District of Columbia has a few social services programs for deaf adults. For decades, Deaf-Reach has provided residential services, mental health services, employment services, and more to deaf adults in need in Washington, DC. The organization frequently holds social fundraising events.

    MARYLAND

    Practically the entire state of Maryland is associated with the greater DC area.

    Captioning Services

    These Maryland-based captioning companies provide real-time captioning services, offline captioning, and software:

    • Caption Reporters, Inc. (Camp Springs)
    • Computer Prompting and Captioning Co. (Rockville)
    • Pilgrim Imaging Inc. (Stevensville)
    • Talking Type Captions (Bethesda)

    Interpreters

    Maryland-based interpreters can also join the Potomac Chapter, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The state is also home to several interpreting agencies:

    • Birnbaum Interpreting Services (Silver Spring)
    • CSD (Frederick)
    • Professional Interpreter Exchange, Inc. (Laurel)
    • Purple (Silver Spring)
    • TCS Associates

    Movie Theaters

    Again, check CaptionFish.com for the latest information on Maryland movie theaters that offer captioned films. Here are a few of the known theaters with captioned films in Maryland:

    • AMC Columbia 14 (Baltimore, rear window)
    • AMC Owings Mills (rear window captions)
    • Loews Center Park 8 (rear window)
    • Loews Magic Johnson Capital Center (Largo, rear window)
    • Loews Rio 18 (Gaithersburg, rear window)
    • Loews Wheaton Plaza 11 (Wheaton, rear window)
    • Crown Harbour 9 (Annapolis, open caption)
    • Regal Snowden Square (Columbia, open captions)
    • Regal Westview Stadium 16 (Frederick, open captions)
    • Regal Valley Mall Stadium 16 (Hagerstown, open captions)
    • Regal Rockville Center Stadium 13 (Rockville, open captions)

    Deaf and Hard of Hearing Organizations

    While some deaf and hard of hearing organizations such as the National Association of the Deaf and Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) have their headquarters in Maryland, there are also a few Maryland-specific organizations.

    • Frederick chapter of the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA)
    • Greater Baltimore HLAA chapter
    • Montgomery County Association of the Deaf,Inc (under Maryland Assn of the Deaf)
    • Montgomery HLAA chapter
    • Prince George's HLAA chapter

     

    Anne Arundel County

    • Magothy United Methodist Church of the Deaf at Magothy United Methodist Church, Pasadena

    Baltimore/Baltimore County

    • Christ United Methodist Church of the Deaf at Fulton-Siemers Memorial United Methodist
    • (Baltimore)Grace Bible Baptist Church (interpreted services) (Baltimore, MD)

    Frederick County

    • Christ United Methodist Church of Ballenger Creek, Frederick (interpreted)

    Montgomery County

    • Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf (in Calvary Lutheran Church), Silver Spring
    • Deaf Silver Spring Seventh Day Adventist Church at Silver Spring Seventh Day Adventist Church, Silver Spring
    • Hampshire View Baptist Deaf Church (Silver Spring, MD)
    • Silver Spring Church of Christ, Silver Spring St. Barnabas Mission of the Deaf, Chevy Chase
    • St. Martin of Tours, Gaithersburg, MD (interpreted)
    • Unitarian Universalist Church, Silver Spring

    Prince George's County

    • Potomac Deaf Assembly of God (Lanham, MD)
    • St. Francis of Assisi Deaf Catholic Church at Center for Deaf Ministries, Landover Hills, MD
    • Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (interpreted 11:00 am), Bowie
    • Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Beltsville (interpreted)

    Schools

    Maryland is home to the Maryland School for the Deaf, and some counties also have deaf education programs:

    • Montgomery County schools has three programs: oral - Rock Creek Valley Elementary School; total - Lucy Barnsley Elementary School; cued speech - Flower Valley Elementary School
    • Prince George's county schools also has services

    Sign Language

    Maryland offers plenty of opportunities for learning sign language. Just a few of them:

    • Montgomery College
    • Montgomery County Public Schools, Adult Education
    • The Hearing and Speech Agency, Baltimore
    • University of Maryland (credit courses)
    • The Community College of Baltimore County (interpreter education program)

      Social Services

      Maryland's state government has an Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

      VIRGINIA

      The part of Virginia associated with the metro DC region is Northern Virginia, which some might say reaches as far south as Richmond.

      Captioning

      Virginia has offices for quite a few captioning service providers:

      • CaptionMax (South Riding, VA)
      • National Capitol Captioning (Arlington, VA)
      • National Captioning Institute (Chantilly, VA)
      • Creative Caption & Video (Richmond, VA)
      • Visual Audio Captioning (Fairfax, VA)
      • Henninger Media Services (Arlington, VA)
      • VITAC (Arlington, VA)

      Interpreters

      Interpreters in Virginia can join the Virginia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (Northern Virginia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf chapter).Northern Virginia also has a handful of interpreting agencies:

      • Sign Language Interpreting Services, Ltd. (Richmond)
      • Signing Hands (Springfield)
      • Visual Language Interpeting (Arlington)

      Movie Theaters

      Several theaters in Virginia are accessible via either open captioning or rear window captioning.

      Yet again, check CaptionFish.com for the newest theaters.

      • Regal Kingstowne Stadium 16 (Alexandria, open captioning)
      • AMC Hoffman Center 22 (Alexandria, rear window)
      • AMC Potomac Mills 8 (Woodbridge, rear window)
      • Loews Tysons Fairfax Square 8 (Fairfax, rear window)
      • Regal Ballston Commons (Arlington, open captioning)
      • Regal Countryside 20 (Sterling, open captioning)
      • Regal Fredricksburg 15 (Fredericksburg, open captioning)

      Organizations

      Northern Virginia has political and social organizations of the deaf and hard of hearing for all ages:

      • Northern Virginia Association of the Deaf (The NVAD is under the Virginia Association of the Deaf)
      • Northern VA Club of the Deaf (NVCD)
      • Northern VA Sign Language Club
      • Northern Virginia Cued Speech Association
      • Northern Virginia United for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children - social events for deaf/hoh children
      • Hearing Loss Association of America Northern Virginia Chapter

      Religion

      Relatively few churches and synagogues in Northern Virginia have substantial services for the deaf. Among the few that do, are these:

      • Fairfax Church of Christ Deaf Ministry, Fairfax, VA
      • McLean Bible Church, McLean, VA
      • Grace Community Church (www.trygrace.org), has sign interpreters. Meetings held at Key School in Arlington, VA.

      Social Activities

      The Northern Virgina Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People (NVRC) maintains a community calendar, and also has a mail list.

      Social Services

      One of the most important social services agencies is the aforementioned NVRC. Statewide, services are available through the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing state agency (this agency may be folded into a parent agency).

      Schools

      Virginia has a state school, the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB), in Staunton. Staunton is not part of Northern Virginia, but deaf children from Northern Virginia may attend school at VSDB.

      Fairfax County in Northern Virginia offers three center programs based on communication options:

      Middle school is at Frost Middle School, and high school at Woodson High School.

      Loudoun County has its own services for deaf. Prince William County provides both itinerant services and center programs for deaf and hard of hearing students. Arlington and Alexandria reportedly continue to send deaf students to the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School in Washington, DC, and do not have deaf education programs.

      AREAWIDE ORGANIZATIONS

      Still more organizations and activities are available that invite participation from people from all over the metro DC area, and these are assigned to the category of Areawide:

      Areawide Organizations

      • Metro Washington Assn of the DeafBlind
      • National Capital Hearing Dog Association (meets at the NVRC)
      • NTID and Gallaudet alumni associations
      • Washington Society for Jewish Deaf
      • Washington, DC Deaf Exposition

      Areawide Services

      • Georgetown University Hospital has a Kids Clinic for the Deaf, which provides health care for deaf children and children in deaf families.

      NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN DC AREA

      Last but not least, the metro DC area is home to many if not most, of the nation's deaf and hard of hearing organizations. A deaf tourist visiting the DC region could get acquainted with all of these organizations...

      • Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf (DC)
      • American Association of the Deaf-Blind (Silver Spring)
      • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (Rockville)
      • Better Hearing Institute (Alexandria)
      • Deaf Abused Women's Network (DC)
      • Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government (does not have an office)
      • NAD (silver spring)
      • National Association of the Deaf (Silver Spring)
      • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (Alexandria)
      • Hearing Loss Association of America (Bethesda)
      • TDI (Silver Spring)

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