t's not very often I get to be a part of an incredible team that does something extraordinary to make a difference in the community. It's even more rare that I get to make that difference with my camera. The folks at CSD (Communication Service for the Deaf) hired me to photograph some compelling images for their new campaign #whowillanswer, a huge venture that has literally dozens of partnerships all over the country involved in helping the deaf community quell domestic violence.
Domestic Violence in the deaf community is often a taboo subject, even more so than it would be for our hearing counterparts - it's often magnified simply due to the fact that we "deafies" know everyone due to the small size of our community. Communication access is something often taken for granted by our hearing counterparts - even in times of duress, help is usually just a phone call away.
What #whowillanswer aims to do is to create a hotline for those deaf individuals who suffer from domestic violence a reliable 24/7/365 communication lifeline (literally!) staffed by those who can communicate in their native language - ASL. As it currently stands, the 'deaf hotline' is only open 9-5, and funds are needed to keep it open during the evening and late night hours when domestic violence is more prone to occur --- WITH ASL fluent counselors ready to assist.
Go visit www.whowillanswer.org and see what we are all about.