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Holladay Journal

Sanderson Community Center provides free resources to support the deaf and hard of hearing

Feb 26, 2019 01:36PM ● By Lindsey Baxter

Beginners ASL class at the Sanderson Community Center. (Courtesy of Sanderson Community Center Staff)

By Lindsey Baxter | [email protected]

The Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a building of community and services that helps people who are deaf or hard of hearing and their family and friends. The Sanderson Center provides a plethora of services and classes for its community members for free.

Interpreter Amy Santiago for the State of Utah interpreted for Marybeth Baierl. “This is the 26th year the center has been here. It was known under a different name — in the past, it was the Utah Community Center and it became the Sanderson Center around the year 2000,” Baierl says. 

“Oftentimes we will have people who will come and take an ASL class who are a family member of someone who is deaf or someone who has a hearing loss and they want to learn the signs to communicate. But we also have some who have coworkers who are deaf that want to communicate, people maybe who work underneath a specific person or their supervisor who wants to learn for their deaf or hard of hearing employee, so sometimes we just have some random people come and learn, so we just have a wide variety,” Baierl says. 

Chelle Wyatt, a hard of hearing specialist for the Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, is also a teacher at the center. “The hard of hearing program is newer, but its focus has always been deaf but has become more hard of hearing,” Wyatt says. “I would say that the deaf community wide, as far as the deaf community members, we’ve had free ASL classes as long as we’ve had the center,” Baierl says.

 “We have services statewide across the state of Utah. We provide workshops and classes and different activities; we even have family activities. Some workshops we provide might be focused on financial planning and budgeting, whereas there might be a speaker of how to prevent different things. We will have a deaf expert come in and have a workshop in direct communication, so we will bring in people to take those workshops. For instance, the ‘How to Prevent Fraud’ is one that we had that there might be a hearing expert, that we provide interpreters for, and we offer that to the deaf community. And then we will have deaf people come in that have certain skills and they have information to share from the community to other community members. Oftentimes deaf members will go out to a workshop and not have interpreters available so it’s nice that we have that here to offer,” Baierl says.

The Sanderson Community Center provides events for Children of Deaf Adults (CODAs) to help them feel supported and have a sense of community. They have a fun summer camp, a Harvest event in the fall, and an Easter egg hunt that will be coming up in the Spring.

The hard of hearing program (offered at the Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DSDHH)) provides statewide assistance for hands-on assistive technology demonstrations, sharing resources, and employment assessments and hearing loss tips. The program also provides classes for hard of hearing individuals, hard of hearing assistants, outreach and presentations and support and self-help groups. “Next month there will be a presentation on CART, Communication Access Real-Time Translation — we don’t sign, we aren’t fluent in sign, but we use live captioning which is CART. A lot of people need help advocating for CART; they feel awkward with it. They’ll say it’s the same as having an interpreter, but we can’t hear, we are not fluent in sign, so we need the live captioning,” Wyatt says.

The Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is located at 5709 S 1500 W in Taylorsville and more information about the center can be found on their website: