Seattle, WA (PRWEB) May 16, 2012
A 15-second video presented in American Sign Language (ASL) now appears on the CBS Super Screen at Times Square, where more than 300,000 pedestrians traffic daily. This is possibly the first video placement by a Deaf-run agency at Times Square, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
The public service announcement is produced by Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS), based in Seattle. “We intend to raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence within the Deaf Community and compel a dialogue on it,” said Executive Director Tiffany Williams, who is deaf, as is the majority of staff members at ADWAS.
“A video announcement in Times Square is fitting. New York City is truly the city that never sleeps, and abuse is something to which we as a community cannot close our eyes. People need to confront it so where better to ask for their hand in ending it?”
The PSA debuted on May 14 on CBS's 26-ft x 20-ft screen and can seen every hour for 18 hours of the day through mid-July 2012. Its message is straightforward: 1) Abuse also happens in the Deaf Community and 2) those who experience it are not alone. “Everybody needs to know that ADWAS and other community resources exist, including the people who run centers and hotlines and need help with how to best serve Deaf survivors that come to them.”
The video is underwritten by Convo Communications, a deaf-owned and deaf-operated provider of 24/7 video relay services, which enable ASL users to communicate via phone by utilizing true-to-life video connection with specially trained interpreters.
“We're proud to partner with ADWAS on this,” said Convo VP of Strategic Development Butch Zein, who is deaf. “ADWAS is Deaf-operated as is Convo, and its mission parallels ours in that we believe no one should struggle with access. We also believe that together, with Deaf supporting Deaf, we have the power to achieve great things, such as ending violence within our community.”
The CBS Super Screen is on 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th avenues. To further generate awareness, Convo will be hosting a community event in Times Square midway through the PSA’s run.
To view the PSA, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYjUajqn-QU. To watch a joint video announcement on this from ADWAS and Convo, presented in ASL and captioned for everyone, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDZUJzHXUv8.
Established in 1986 and serving the greater Seattle area, Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services is a non-profit agency that provides Deaf and DeafBlind survivors of domestic and sexual violence with culturally specific services, including a 24-hour crisis line, case management services, counseling and support groups, safe shelter and transitional housing, legal and medical advocacy, parenting classes and children's services. ADWAS has 19 staff members and the majority are Deaf. Visit http://adwas.org/ for more information.
Convo Communications is the country's only deaf-owned provider of 24/7 video relay services, which enables deaf and hard of hearing people who use sign language to convo with hearing people over the phone. Its services allow deaf and hard of hearing people civic and consumer participation and can be accessed via web browser, videophone, instant messenger, or mobile devices running on iOS. For further information, please visit http://convorelay.com or follow via Facebook and Twitter at /convorelay.