MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

July 13, 2014

Reaching out to hearing impaired

Ark of Faith to distribute DVDs on actions to take in disasters

Information about fire safety solutions for individuals with disabilities and an opportunity to share music and fellowship will be presented at the next Coffeehouse at the Ark of Faith.

Members of the nonprofit organization’s most recent deaf signing class will host the next Coffeehouse.

Ark of Faith presents coffeehouses once a month during the summer, and each Friday from September to the middle of May, said Sally Weiesnbach, director of operations and founder.

Coffeehouses focus on a variety of subjects, she said.

“We want to be all inclusive,” she said.

The Friday coffeehouse will feature music and fellowship and is open to the public — the hearing and the hearing impaired, she said.

DVDs that provide specific information instructing individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired regarding how they should deal with disasters will be provided free of charge.

Presented by Oklahoma State University, the DVD provides information to help people with hearing disabilities deal with crisis situations, including fire safety, tornados and floods, Weiesnbach said.

Scheduled for 8 to 11 p.m., the program will include members of the Deaf Signing Class, who will present a song through sign language, and a guest will provide a presentation. Representatives from area churches will provide food. The program will open with worship and is open to the community.

“We strive to get those who have taken the basic signing to get involved in the deaf community,” Weiesnbach said.

Two basic signing classes are conducted by the nonprofit organization each year, and the next one is set for September. The class will include eight sessions, and each will be conducted from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Participants must attend all sessions.

Coffeehouses and classes are among several programs offered by the Ark of Faith.

Anger management and domestic violence classes also are scheduled in the fall, she said.

“All classes are free, and we give certification,” Weiesnbach said, adding that participants must attend all classes to receive certification.

As a non-profit organization, Ark of Faith needs assistance from volunteers, Weiesnbach said. Current needs of the organization include assistance with pulling grass and weeds from its flower beds, help folding clothes, and donations of clean plastic bags, which individuals may receive from grocery stores.

Individuals who want to volunteer time or to make donations are asked to contact Weiesnbach or the receptionist at (918) 682-8411.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Ark of Faith Coffeehouse, hosted by deaf signing class.

WHERE: 401 E. Broadway.

WHEN: 8 to 11 p.m. Friday.

INFORMATION: (918) 682-8411.

Learn more

A basic sign language class is set to begin in September. The class will include eight sessions, and each will be conducted from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Participants must attend all sessions. Register: (918) 682-8411.

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