LANSING, Mich., Sept. 14, 2021 — Over 1 million Michiganders are either deaf or suffer from hearing loss, and over half of Deaf children are victims of abuse. The elderly Deaf are also frequent targets of similar mistreatment and neglect. In recognition of the extraordinary impact Deaf and hard-of-hearing people have on Michigan, and the support that they require, the Michigan House adopted House Resolution 151, which declares September as Deaf Awareness Month in the state of Michigan.
State Reps. John Cherry (D-Flint) and Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), who sponsored the resolution, issued the following statements:
“My district is home to many families in the Deaf community and includes the Michigan School for the Deaf, a Flint fixture since 1854,” Cherry said. “House Resolution 151 is one small way to increase awareness, but there is much more work to be done. I am proud to represent members of the Deaf community and will continue to advocate alongside them.
“During my time in the Legislature, I have consistently fought to protect and expand the rights of those who are Deaf,” Koleszar said. “Through my in-laws, who are Deaf themselves, I have come to know and appreciate the vibrant and thriving Deaf community in our state. With this resolution, we are saying that we not only acknowledge their community but respect their rich history; however, this is only one of many steps we must take on their behalf. Far too often, people who are Deaf face discrimination, stigmatization and are forgotten about because of the challenges they face. Changing these facts requires that we, as a state, do more, and this resolution declaring September as Deaf Awareness Month is only the first step.”