The de l’Epee Deaf Center Receives Grant from Beau Rivage

Most of Mississippi’s deaf community receives services from the de l’Epee Deaf Center. News 25’s Katarina Luketich shares more about the only deaf center in the state and how a large grant they received this morning will help them provide more services.
Most of us take hearing the simple sound of a car driving down the road for granted. For a large community here on the Coast, it’s a luxury they don’t have and many who can hear find it hard to relate to those who can’t. So for the deaf, the de l’Epee Deaf Center in Gulfport is their safe haven. Director Greg Crapo said, “This is where the deaf congregate for all of their Christmas parties, Thanksgiving events, everything where they can come to socialize with each other and actually interact with people who speak their language.”
As the only deaf center in Mississippi, de l’Epee serves over 750 deaf people and almost 14,000 hard of hearing. They are a non-profit that receives no federal funding. They are largely funded by the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, but they also rely heavily on community grants. Today the deaf center received a little help from some Beau Rivage employees who presented Executive Director Greg Crapo with a $10,000 check. “It allows us to continue operating and continue to give services. Because without them, we wouldn’t be able to pay the salaries of the interpreters, the benefits, keep the building running,” said Crapo.
As Beau employees toured the facility, they also learned a little more about the impact interpreters have on the entire community. They not only serve those who can’t hear but they are also there as a resource for hearing people who are trying to communicate with the deaf. Senior Systems Engineer at the Beau Rivage Jon McDougal said, “I didn’t think of that. So whenever they go into a classroom, there might be just one deaf child but there are 19 normal children and they are getting the communication. They’re benefiting from the services that de l’Epee provides.”
Services that are crucial in the lives of those who are trying to make their way in the world of sound we live in.

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