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  • Writer's pictureHunterdon Board of Commissioners

Hunterdon Human Services Gains Grant To Improve Access For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals

The Hunterdon County Human Services Department recently applied for and was awarded a grant to improve access to county services for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals across multiple county locations, County Commissioner Board member Shaun C. Van Doren reported at the May 17th Board meeting.

Commissioner Van Doren, the Board’s Human Services Department liaison, said, “The Human Services Department encompasses a large variety of divisions which provide assistance to citizens in need and improving the services for the Deaf and hard of hearing in Hunterdon County is a benefit to our community.”

Grant funding will be used for several projects county-wide and include hearing loops in multiple public meeting spaces, in locations such as the Commissioners meeting room, the Headquarters Library meeting room and the Historic County Courthouse.

Human Services Department Administrator, Meagan Q. O’Reilly, said, “On behalf of the County Department of Human Services I am happy to announce that this grant will support the installation of hearing loops in some of the county’s largest public meeting areas, providing the greatest benefit to people who rely on assistive- listening devices which will promote inclusion of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and encourage greater community participation in our county programs.

This funding will also support the purchase of portable hearing loops for use in our public facing reception areas, the benefit of a portable hearing loop is that it can be re-positioned in the event of an emergency or relocated to a space where it is most needed.”

Once installed, the county’s Human Services Department will measure the outcomes of the project by tracking usage of the devices and obtaining first-person accounts in order to maintain and improve access to public services for the Deaf and hard of hearing residents.

“Hunterdon County’s Human Services Department identified a need for Deaf and hard of hearing benefits through communication with several county departments and divisions, including the Veterans Services Office, and receiving this grant from the state’s Human Services Department will afford our most vulnerable residents the opportunity to reach their highest potential.

The Board will consider accepting the $75,000 in grant funds later on the agenda,” Van Doren concluded.

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