In September of 2019, a friend of mine, a deaf man, met an elderly man to sell him a bike. During the exchange, the man collapsed. Unsure of what to do, and unable to call 911 due to his deafness, my friend panicked. He texted his friends, who called 911 for him, but by the time paramedics arrived, the customer had already passed due to sudden cardiac arrest.
This friend was heartbroken and asked me to teach him CPR.
As a deaf woman fluent in ASL and licensed to teach CPR, I borrowed equipment from a local hospital and taught my first deaf-accessible CPR class. I welcomed a group of deaf folks, including several with autism and other developmental disabilities and we worked together to ensure that every one of them left the class knowing how to perform CPR.
What our grantee is saying: "I'm so honored to be receiving this grant! With support from Awesome Disability, I can grow this program and ensure that more Deaf folks are able to learn the valuable skills of CPR and first aid. The Deaf community is too-often neglected from community initiatives like this, so the ability to provide classes taught in ASL and designed specifically for members of my community––this is a rare and incredible opportunity. Thank you Awesome Disability for helping us make this happen!"
This experience taught me the importance of ensuring that all people are able to access CPR classes. It is now my mission to acquire my own CPR training equipment so that I can teach the members of my community.
Funded by Disability (October 2020)