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The mission of the Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf (PSAD) is to empower deaf and hard of hearing individuals to achieve full and equal access to their civil, human, and linguistic rights, through information and advocacy.


PSAD envisions barrier-free environments for all deaf and hard of hearing individuals (children, youths, adults).


PSAD recognizes its responsibility to preserve the integrity of American Sign Language (ASL) and ensure ASL acceptance by hearing society, as an equally viable communication choice in the lives of deaf individuals (child, youth, adult).


To ensure the Mission and Vision statements, the members of PSAD will diligently keep watch and be actively involved on all laws, state agencies, and appointed committees that potentially impact on quality and integrity of life of deaf individuals (child, youth, adult) such as education, employment and healthcare, as well as the civic, social, cultural, and economic life of Pennsylvania and the United States.


PSAD supports:

  • both ASL & English as necessary to ensure maximum communication access;

  • the right of every deaf individual (child, youth, or adult) to be bilingual through American Sign Language and English (including spoken and/or written);

  • the need for communication choices including the provision of affordable access to all communication technologies that will best serve a deaf individual (child, youth adult) throughout their lives.


PSAD recognizes the right of parent’ choices for their deaf child.  To assist parents, PSAD will inform/educate parents of the value of the inclusion of American Sign Language as an integral linguistic component (necessary for completeness) for

maximum communication access, as well as maximize the various communication choices that will enhance communication functional equivalency to that of hearing society in the lives of deaf individuals (child, youth, adult).


PSAD recognizes that every individual (child, youth, adult) with any degree of hearing loss that requires special assistance (technology, including cochlear implants, specialized training, etc.) has the right to be self-identified as deaf.


Therefore, PSAD recognizes the existence of diversity of communication modes, thus respecting the right of every individual with a hearing loss who accepts sign language to be a respected part of the Deaf Community.


PSAD recognizes that the deaf and hard of hearing consumers who use interpreters have the right to determine the skills and suitability of interpreters to provide communicational functional equivalency in communication for them. They also have the right to request specific interpreters for the com- munication access to be successful.


Therefore, PSAD will work to empower deaf and hard of hearing consumers to understand their rights.  This will include programming to help consumers understand how to make appropriate requests for interpreting services and how to properly assess interpreter skills.


Further, PSAD will partner with interpreters through their representative agencies and organizations to determine practices that will enhance their skills.

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