Working with the Deaf

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Making Marriages Accessible: Working with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
A training for marriage officiants

The training was recorded on October 19, 2021 and will be available soon on JPus’ learning platform, JPus.Training.
This training will provide marriage officiants the information and resources needed to work successfully with the Deaf and hard-of-hearing – An underserved population. This program will not provide information on using sign language, but will instead offer guidance to improve communication techniques with this population.

Purpose: Why Take this Training

Participating in this webinar will increase your efficiency, help you grow professionally and personally, and make you a better marriage officiant.

  • Enhance marketability. Expand officiants’ knowledge and skillset to better serve a broader population. Naturally, this makes training participants more attractive to potential clients.
  • Improve access. Increasing the number of marriage officiants able to serve the Deaf and hard-of-hearing will make it easier for this population to have the marriage ceremony they desire. Furthermore, trained officiants assure Deaf clients, alleviating skepticism, nerves and fear.
  • Ensure consent. Knowing how to communicate effectively with Deaf people gives confidence to the officiant that the union is consensual. This supports the officiant’s oath to the state, and is aligned with the Justice of the Peace Association’s Code of Ethics and Core Values.

Learning Objectives

During this training we cover steps that officiants can do to make sure people with a hearing loss are able to fully participate in the ceremony. Notably, this includes the marital couple as well as in-person or virtual guests.

Topics to be covered include: Terminology * Communication Methods * Deaf Etiquette * Recognizing Barriers & Isolation * Consent

JPus is excited to partner with the Vermont Agency of Human Services Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living to bring this professional development opportunity for JPs, notaries and other officiants to address this unmet need. Town and city clerks are also invited to participate. The Justice of the Peace Association actively works to make marriages accessible to all consenting adults. All training participants will receive a certificate of completion.

The Resources to support officiants working with the Deaf and hard-of-hearing that was shared with this training is available.

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