JCCD turns 35

by Eric A, Thomas

Jacksonville Community Center for the Deaf (JCCD), located at 907 West Superior, was founded in April of 1985 to promote the deaf and hard of hearing individuals’ needs for education, guidance, support and socialization.

The organization is overseen by a Board of Directors and they host general meetings, potlucks, and a variety of workshops. These workshops can be educational and informative; covering deaf culture, deaf leaders, paint classes, and holiday parties just to give a few examples. All activities, including Bingo, will resume after this pandemic has passed. JCCD members also have offered town halls to teach about deaf rights and voting rights. Members receive informative newsletters and they receive other benefits.

One affiliate group connected with JCCD is Deafhood, an organization that helps individuals to know their rights and helps to convey an affirmative and positive acceptance of being deaf. Another group is Jacksonville Community Senior Deaf (JCSD) who gather twice a month to meet and socialize. They typically meet on Wednesday.

JCCD, in addition to receiving membership dues, receives funding through the Illinois Department of Human Services. The staff helps serve its members and the community in a variety of ways. They will help guide people who need interpreting services to utilize the list of qualified and licensed interpreters through the State of Illinois. They also utilize CART or Community Access Realtime Translation, a referral service for sign language, spoken English, oral, tactile and close vision interpreting for deaf and hard of hearing. They will also refer any person needing phone equipment to ITAC, Illinois Telecommunication Access Corporation, located in Springfield, an organization that provides telephone equipment to the deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, deaf-blind, and speech-disabled communities. They also refer people to Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living (JACIL) for their services

These facilities are available for rent to anyone in the community. Included in the rent are the multi-purpose room, kitchen, bathrooms and back yard. The capacity is 85. You may contact JCCD at 217 245-0429 or JCCD@MCHSI.COM to inquire about rental.

They originally were going to have a banquet in April but, due to COVID-19 and wanting everyone to stay safe, the banquet has been pushed back to the fall. The banquet will feature Kelby Brick who is the Director of Maryland Governor’s Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He is also a deaf activist, a certified deaf interpreter and an attorney. Brick was born in Jacksonville and attended Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) before relocating out east with his parents who were pursuing employment opportunities. His parents, Larry and Carolyn Brick, were on faculty at ISD before their move. As the event is rescheduled, more details will be made public.

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