Salem, Oregon – In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, please join us in celebrating a milestone today. Bridges Oregon launched a Spanish written and sign language website, recognizing the importance of providing full information to Latino/a/x Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing consumers in Oregon. This service nonprofit organization has become the first to do so statewide, once again leading the nonprofit sector in providing advocacy, education, and communication access to community members who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Oregonians.

According to the Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon’s Latino/a/x population is growing at a rate faster than the national rate: nearly 14% of the state’s population is now Latino/a/x, representing 72 percent growth since 2000. Oregon School for the Deaf saw the rapid growth of Latino/a/x Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, which represents nearly 35% of the entire school. The National Institute of Health-funded research shows nearly 1 in 7 Hispanic/Latino/a/x adults has some hearing loss.

Like many collectivist cultures, the Spanish community deeply values family and community affiliation. Bridges Oregon is bridging the language barrier gap and is going beyond its scope of services by providing all information and explanations of each program and service in written and signed Spanish, especially with our Advocacy Service, with primary funding by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) by the Oregon Department of Justice. This allows the Spanish families to seek additional resources when it comes to a Latino/a/x Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing member within their family and community.

After an extensive search for a suitable vendor to provide accessible Language Signed in Mexican (LSM) videos, Caption Anywhere produced LSM-translated videos with Spanish captions based on the written content made available on our website. Caption Anywhere recruited skilled LSM translators from across the country to translate the written information into LSM, making them accessible to community members who use LSM as their native language.

Bridges Oregon is the only dedicated Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and accompaniment services in Oregon.

Chad A. Ludwig, Executive Director and founder of Bridges Oregon stated, “We are extremely excited about our language accessible website and the additional level of service it will provide to our prospective and future Latino/a/x clients. It was built with our Latino/a/x clients in mind, allowing them to access information, services, and resources.”

About Bridges Oregon:
Bridges Oregon is a nonprofit for Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers. It is in our mission to facilitate equity, inclusiveness, and to provide a bridge to opportunities through advocacy, education, and communication.