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About My Background and Goals as Secretary

Hello! My name is Elaine Navratil. I live in Arizona. I am the Board Secretary for DSA - Deaf Seniors of America.

As you know, Arizona has a large number of Deaf senior citizens and this gives me a good opportunity to socialize with many of them and learn about their issues. View link

As for my background and experience, I worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor) for the Deaf in Denver, Colorado, for five years and later as a Mental Health Therapist for the Deaf, also in Denver for 15 years then later moved to Spokane, Washington where I worked as a Client Advocate in a Deaf Service Center for 10 years.


Before I moved to Washington state, I was also one of five founders for DOVE (Deaf Overcoming Violence through Empowerment). This agency provides services for women, men, children and families who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. They have been doing this for over 22 years now.


I was also a Board member for DSA for five years before I became Secretary in 2023. My goals for DSA in the future are:


First, I want to see more advocacy for communication access in different areas such as healthcare, with caregivers, interpreters for doctor appointments, housing needs such as low income housing, assisted living and independent living. Also in legal situations such as talking with lawyers when setting up a will or doing an estate plan. We want to make sure we have interpreters for all this, so we have clear communication in order to get what we want.


Second, I would like to see better improvement for Deaf seniors to have opportunities to attend social events and activities all over the country. DSA just recently set up a new resource list for different states where you could find deaf clubs and social events for deaf seniors. You can check out this information on our website.


We know that socialization is important for us and we probably know many deaf friends who might have dementia and might be isolated. Socialization helps slow down the progression of dementia and research has shown this helps people manage their problems better.


Those are two of the goals I have and I would like to see better improvement in those areas.


I hope to see you at future DSA Conferences!

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