We are currently focused on rescuing senior and medically needy dogs but we are renovating our property to be able to rescue some farm animals as well! Below is the entire list of programs we aim to implement when we have the land and staff necessary to support these activities.
This video is the ASL version of the information in the graphic above. It is not captioned.
Description: We offer classes such as art, yoga, gardening, scrapbooking, cooking, ASL, etc. all taught by Deaf instructors.
Rationale: Many Deaf individuals have expertise in topics that the community wants to learn about, but no way to earn money for teaching these topics.
Benefits: These classes provide employment for Deaf adults, outreach to the community (both Deaf and Hearing learning sign), and a source of income to support farm operations.
Description: This unique learning experience welcomes families of DHH children to experience Deaf people and their lives in a positive way. Families will engage in workshops and in activities on the farm.
Rationale: Many parents of deaf children lack the opportunity to see the kinds of lives and paths that await their children. Meeting and getting to know Deaf role models around the farm will help to solidify parents’ confidence in their child’s future.
Benefits: This experience helps to reframe any deficit-model thinking parents may have about their child and offers an open door into the community of Deaf people.
Description: All volunteers and hearing families first participate in an orientation prior to engaging in farm activities. This half-day workshop includes basic sign language and visual communication
strategies, Allyship, Deaf Culture, Deaf Gain, and answers questions they may have about DeafSpace and the philosophies behind our farm.
Rationale: In order to protect the farm as Deaf-Centric, it is crucial that hearing people wanting to spend time on the farm be armed with a well-rounded understanding of what the farm is all about and how to interact with Deaf children and adults from a place of respect.
Benefits: Participants gain a new understanding of Deaf people, learn strategies to communicate respectfully with them, and hopefully grow in their desire to act in ways that show they wish to be an ally to the community.
Description: Large areas of cultivated land which serve as a learning opportunity for Deaf children (part of their camp experience), a point of sale for flowers and plants (benefiting the operations of the farm), and supply fresh food to the cafeteria & the B&B.
Rationale: Environmental awareness is an important part of a child’s education. Campers work the gardens to learn gardening skills, as well as examine where our food comes from every day and the importance of healthy eating and respecting the environment. Our cafeteria and B&B need fresh food daily.
Benefits: Our cafeteria (which feeds campers and staff) and the B&B are provided with fresh, organic foods. Campers gain knowledge and skills by working the gardens. Our farm has a small income stream from sales, which will also bring members of the general public to our farm to see what we do!
Description: Staffed by a Deaf vet and vet tech, this clinic provides vet services to Deaf pet-owners and to the hearing community at large. The clinic also provides spay/neuter and other medical services to the animals on our farm.
Rationale: Deaf pet owners often do not have the opportunity to communicate fully or easily with their veterinarian. Having a Deaf vet means direct communication, full information, and having all your questions and concerns addressed. There is no signing Deaf vet in our state. Additionally, we need an on- site vet for the numerous needs of our rescue animals - from spay/neuter, to vaccinations, evaluating illnesses and treatments, medications, etc.
Benefits: Bringing a Deaf vet to our farm provides a career opportunity unlike any other for that vet and his/her vet techs (an internship site). The Deaf community is able to fully understand the needs of their pets and have all their concerns addressed. Hearing community members who choose to use our vet have positive exposure to another language and another way of being in the world.
Description: We commission Deaf artists to create works of art around the farm which reflect Deaf cultural values. We have a gallery in the welcome center where Deaf artists can have their work on display for sale.
Rationale: Deaf art is an important part of Deaf Culture. We aim to support Deaf artists in their trade by giving them an avenue, both at the farm and online, to promote and sell their work.
Benefits: Artists have an opportunity to highlight their talents and sell pieces of work. Deaf staff, children, and visitors are exposed to a variety of mediums, themes, and values in having the work of Deaf artists prominent around the farm.
Description: Open to Deaf community at large; it is a place where organizations - be they local, regional or national - can come to hold their meetings in a DeafSpace, surrounded by animals and nature. Day use of the conference room or weekend/week long use of the entire lodge (equipped with sleeping rooms and a full kitchen).
Description: Beautiful DeafSpace lodging for visitors.
Rationale: Our farm needs a way to accommodate visitors and to have these visitors stay in a place that is in alignment with our mission - a place that reflects DeafSpace.
Benefits: Couples, families, and single folks who are curious about our farm do not have to lodge elsewhere. Staying on the farm means visitors feel a stronger sense of connection to the community we have created and to our operations, and hopefully this encourages visitors to become supporters of the farm.
Description: We partner with a variety of Deaf-owned businesses both onsite and online.
Rationale: Part of community vitality includes economic health. We promote Deaf-owned businesses in order to grow the economic base of the community.
Benefits: Business owners have opportunity to increase their visibility and income through these partnerships. These owners also serve as role models for Deaf children at the farm and through the portal.
Description: A store with antiques and other items available for resale
which operates in town to benefit our rescue operations and is staffed by Deaf people. This store also offers furniture restoration.
Rationale: Our farm needs exposure to the public and an income stream. Additionally, Deaf people need employment opportunities where the general public will interact with and learn from them.
Benefits: Provides public exposure for the farm, income stream, and employment for Deaf people.
Description: We utilize our Deaf staff to post regular educational vlogs in ASL on YouTube about animal health and behavior.
Rationale: There currently are no informational videos in ASL about animal/pet health and behavior on YouTube. This broadens our reach to the Deaf community throughout the U.S. and fills a niche.
Benefits: We help to increase the knowledge base of Deaf pet owners around the country and thereby have a positive impact on the health and safety of pets owned by Deaf people.
Description: We offer Deaf college students a variety of internship opportunities. Those pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine, business, architecture, early childhood education, information technology, or culinary arts can find placement with us.
Rationale: There are very few internship environments which embrace the linguistic and cultural identity of young Deaf adults and there are none that exist on a farm.
Benefits: Interns grow both intellectually and socially at our farm. They bring back what they have learned to their home communities, thus significantly broadening the impact of our work.
Description: We partner with Gallaudet and other universities to serve as a site for research projects and studies related to DeafSpace, Deaf ways of being, or Deaf enclaves.
Rationale: We believe in the possibility of making a contribution to what is currently a very small body of literature and research on what it means to be Deaf in a Deaf Space/Place.
Benefits: When articles and studies are published about our farm, it will give credence to the idea that what we are doing is not only valid and impactful, but replicable. There is no reason for our work to exist in isolation. Our work can become a model for other aspiring Deaf Enclaves around the country.