The Mahoning Valley Association of the Deaf is looking for a new home.
Located on N. Park Avenue in Warren, MVAD, formed by a Jan. 1, 2012, merger of the Youngstown and Warren Deaf Clubs, is seeking a more centrally located hall for its twice-monthly Saturday meetings and other special events, said Mark Taylor of Boardman, MVAD president.
“We need a meeting room with a small kitchen area with handicap-accessible entrance and restrooms. Our members range in age from 25 to 80,” Taylor said in an email interview.
The Warren facility, formerly owned by the Warren Deaf Club, is in need of extensive repairs for which MVAD does not have funds, said Taylor, who was born with a profound hearing loss and has been an active member of the deaf community for many years.
The Association of the Deaf also needs financial help to host the 48th annual Ohio Deaf Bowling Association Tournament on May 16-18 at Wedgewood Lanes in Austintown.
This is the first time in more than 20 years that the state tournament has been here. Between 400 and 500 hearing-impaired persons are expected to attend.
“We are proud to have been selected as the tournament host and want to highlight the Youngstown area; and we urgently need community support to help pay for program books, printed materials, prizes and trophies and gift packs for entrants,” Taylor said.
Donation categories are: lane, $500; frame, $250; strike, $100; pin, $50; gutter, $25. Also, gift certificates and advertising brochures are needed for the welcome package.
Questions about the event or financial support can be sent to Mark Taylor, P.O. Box 2315, Youngstown, OH 44509 or people can call 330-787-0813, a special number that comes through the relay service for the deaf.
Taylor said MVAD has about 60 active members, primarily from Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties, but occasionally has as many as 100 people at its meetings when other deaf club members are invited.
For most MVAD members, the Saturday evening get-togethers are vitally important ... their only social activity. They can use sign language, which is what most of them rely on for communication, to have a dinner or game night or just plain fun with their hearing-impaired friends,” said Martha Taylor, Mark’s mother.
Hearing-impaired people often are unable to enjoy programs that hearing people do, Mark said.
“Unless there is an interpreter, we cannot understand spoken messages. Captioning is very necessary for television networks and videos as well. We can only enjoy musical events by feeling the vibrations, limiting us in many social activities, such as the annual Pig Roast Bash and the Tri-State Holiday Party every four years. Our deaf club allows us to have a social life that would be otherwise lacking,” he said.