A Life Without Sound

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Charity Spotlight: This post was provided by Derek Rumball, Executive Director of The Bob Rumball Foundation for the Deaf, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series

Imagine … a life without sound. Complete silence surrounds you.

If you live your life hearing sound – the laughter of a loved one, music on the radio, or even the chaos of horns honking in a traffic jam – it can be hard to imagine.Elderly man posing for picture using sign language

But, when you’re deaf, you experience the world in different ways. Music is felt through vibrations, stimulating senses in a new way. Emotions are interpreted through body language. Thoughts are expressed with signs. But the outside world can be full of barriers, and is not set-up to help deaf individuals thrive.

At the Bob Rumball Foundation, we believe that being Deaf should not limit people on their path to personal growth and opportunities.  Self-empowerment, personal growth and a higher quality of life are the goals we strive for.  Everything we do is centered on improving the lives of Deaf individuals at all stages of life. By offering specialized programs and services tailored to meet the individual needs of our clients, we create a level playing field. Our facilities, services and programs offer Deaf people a sense of belonging, connection and community which work to break down the barriers of isolation and exclusion that they often encounter in the outside world.

We are passionate about what we do. The people we serve – and knowing that even in the smallest way we have brought happiness to them – are what keeps us going. Take Margie, for example.

As facilitator for the day program for 12 years, Margie says she has “the best job in the world!”  Here’s how Margie describes what a regular day looks like:

Each day when I arrive at work, I am greeted warmly by the participants of our program. Together, we decide the activities for the day which often include crafts, woodworking, computers or community events. The focus of our Day Program is to enrich the lives of the individuals who attend; this is done primarily through social activities. Most important to our program is that everyone – both staff and participants – communicate in the same language, American Sign Language (ASL). This ensures inclusion among everyone and, combined with our programming, offers a unique place for developing relationships and living life fully without language barriers. We are a family, and being considered a part of this family is all the reward I need.

The need for services far exceeds the services available, but our mission is simple: always do more. We don’t close and we don’t take days off. We will strive to meet the changing residential, social, recreational and mental health challenges that our Deaf community faces – from those in their infancy to those in their last days.  We work to make tomorrow better than today.

Group of deaf people posing for photo at an event

The Bob Rumball Organization’s work is to improve the lives of the Deaf and also Deaf individuals who have complex needs, from their infancy to their senior years. We do this by offering a wide range of services and programs such as: educational, residential and day programs. Learn more about them on their charity profile page >>>  

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