Having Election Anxiety? The Story of deaf kids CODE Will Give You Hope

Given the results of the recent U.S. presidential election, it is as important as ever for marginalized communities to stand in solidarity and drive social change. This kind of civic participation works and I know it all too well:

It was the 2014 legislative season in Indiana. I was finishing my last semester of university. I was at the Indiana State House with hundreds of supporters prepared to urge the Indiana House of Representative to oppose legislation that would harm same-sex couples and their families. As I was waiting for our hearing, I overheard the testimony of a young boy who is deaf/hard of hearing asking legislators to support people in Indiana with a hearing loss. Growing up with a hard of hearing brother, I had to find out more. That’s when it happened.

The start of a beautiful, intersectional friendship

I met Shireen Hafeez, a Muslim women of South-Asian descent, who was the mother of that young boy. Ultimately Shireen was successful in her pursuit to get HEA 1139 signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, but Shireen didn’t stop there. It’s two and a half years later and Shireen is now the founder of deaf kids CODE, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring, empowering, and sparking the innovative spirit in deaf and hard of hearing youth through the world of computer programming.

Shireen and her son watch as Indiana Governor Mike Pence signs HEA 1139 into law in 2014

But why, you ask? According to the Communication Service for the Deaf, 70% of people who are deaf or hard of hearing are unemployed (Tweet this stat). The diverse ways in which this population communicates cause barriers in job attainment and retention. deaf kids CODE is out to change that by helping to pave a path in the tech industry that is encouraging greater social and economic participation by deaf and hard of of hearing people. In the end, society becomes the greatest beneficiary of their talent.

According to the Communication Service for the Deaf, 70% of deaf and hard of hearing people are unemployed

With six workshops in the past eight months and twelve more in the next two months for over 120 students, there is clearly demand for deaf kids CODE. But in order to sustain this growth, deaf kids CODE needs more supporters. Will you answer the call to help Shireen and her supporters build a global pipeline of diverse tech talent? Donate today!

Eager to learn more about more ways to support? Download and share the Sponsorship Letter!

The Digital Age is the Great Equalizer for deaf and hard of hearing youth.