Our Values are:
Our Deaf Survivors Center, Inc. (ODSC)
Our Deaf Survivors Center, Inc. (ODSC) is a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status. It is a sister agency to Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS) in Seattle, Washington, which provides services and resources related to Sexual and Domestic Violence to Deaf victims/survivors in Washington state. ODSC provides sexual and domestic violence services to Deaf victims/survivors in the state of Massachusetts.
To provide culturally affirmative support services to Deaf victims/survivors of sexual and domestic violence through education, empowerment, and advocacy; and to promote awareness of cultural and linguistic considerations to service providers working with Deaf victims/survivors.
In 1998, five Deaf women from Massachusetts traveled to Seattle to learn about sexual and domestic violence in the Deaf Community. Seattle's Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS) gave us a weeklong training. That was a life-changing week for the state of Massachusetts: the five women came home and established ODSC - the first and only advocacy resource specifically for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in Massachusetts. It was hard but we learned to establish legal non-profit status, write by-laws, complete complicated state and federal paperwork, create a Board of Directors AND explain sexual and domestic violence issues to our community.
Several women deserve special recognition and thanks for bringing Our Deaf Survivors Center to where it is today: Renee M. Geary; Lori DeWindt; Allison Sones; Bonnie Kaplan; Ann Marie Flaherty; Lisa Brinks; and May-lin Eu. We appreciate their effors during the first five years to spread the word within the Deaf Community, hosting fundraising events and making presentations at key Deaf conferences. Unfortunately, the next several years were "inactive" but thanks to Chairperson, Sue ("SJ") Wolf-Downes, who moved to New Hampshire, refused to let ODSC die! Luckily, during the Deaf Women United New England conference in Maine, Joan Philip, Brenda Rennie, Heidi Reed, and Sue Philip stepped up to revive the organization.
This new group of women immediately went to work updating the bylaws, revisiting the strategic plan, creating a new mission statement, changing the name and selecting a new logo designed by Tabatha Patrican. We have come a long way and we are very proud! Today Our Deaf Survivors Center is strong. We are growing. Today comes ODSC!!
ODSC recognized three ladies who were at the first banquet fundraiser gala, "Celebrating Success, small steps to many more..." on October 17, 2014. Sue Philip, President of ODSC, (on the left) gave the certificate of appreciations, to Allison Sones, Lisa Brinks and Bonnie Kaplan. They were 3 of 6 women who worked to set up ODSC about 15 years ago. Words on certificate says: "For being a Founder of the Our Deaf Sisters Center, thank you for all your dedication and hard work in the implementation of Our Deaf Survivors Center (formerly Our Deaf Sisters Center)."