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About Us

Program Description

The Deaf Literacy Center is a countywide library-based adult literacy program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults and their families. This program is a service of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative which serves the communities in Pinellas County, Florida by providing coordinated administrative services for member libraries. The Deaf Literacy Center program began as a response for the need to provide quality library services to the local Deaf community. The program then expanded into a countywide program with four sites that provide Deaf adult basic and computer literacy, signed storytimes, special workshops and presenters, sign language classes and book discussions for the Deaf.

We provide a bilingual/bicultural learning environment for Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing individuals. We offer basic literacy instruction in English, math, computer based learning and American Sign Language. Beginning in 2007, the program also began partnering with the Alliance for Families with Deaf Children and the Volunteer USA Foundation to administer the Deaf Florida Family Literacy Academy.

Mission statement

The Deaf Literacy Center provides basic literacy instruction, life skills training, and library and information services to Deaf individuals and their families.

The Tampa Bay area, including Pinellas County, is nationally known by those in the field of deafness for the array of services provided to the Deaf. Services in the area range from educational and mental health to social and vocational opportunities. The Deaf population in this area is growing rapidly as individuals from different parts of the country come searching for needed services not provided elsewhere.

The Florida Association of the Deaf indicates that Tampa Bay, Florida has one of the largest Deaf communities in the USA. The area is home to 348,000 Deaf or hearing-impaired people, the largest such community in Florida, which has an estimated 2 million deaf or hearing-impaired. According to the Florida Association of the Deaf, that is the fifth-largest Deaf concentration in the nation.