Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Unity Health System

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

May 2008

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

January 2007 – December 2007


Rochester and Monroe County, NY, have some 12,000–15,000 Deaf and hard-of-hearing residents, an estimated 600 of whom are elderly.

This grant to Unity Health System’s home/community-based services supported training deaf individuals fluent in sign language to become home health aides to serve elderly deaf people living in Rochester and Monroe County.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Use community outreach to identify and enroll Deaf clients eligible for Unity HHA services.
  • Produce flyers, brochures, a Web page, and online advertisements about the availability of the new program and employment opportunities for Deaf or American Sign Language-fluent HHA candidates.
  • Hold four HHA training sessions, two of which included Deaf individuals who were trained to be HHAs serving Deaf clients.
  • Employ six HHAs in addition to the program coordinator and a second social worker professional (both of whom are Deaf) serving the Deaf community.
  • Serve people, including five who received adaptive services and two who had home health aides.