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Libraries have always been a community's main source of impartial and accessible information. Books, closed-captioned or signed videos and access to computers can make a great difference in the lives of the Deaf community.

The Deaf Literacy Center began as an effort to provide quality library services to a growing Deaf community in the City of Safety Harbor. The Deaf Literacy Center is a library-based literacy program for Deaf individuals and their families. We offer small group and individualized basic literacy instruction and support services in addition to traditional library and information services to the Deaf community. The program became a countywide effort in 2000 when the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative began administering the program to residents.

Facts About Deafness*

  • There are 28 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in the United States.
  • More than 120,000 Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons reside in Pinellas County, Florida.
  • 75% of 18 year old Deaf persons are functionally illiterate.
  • The average reading level of Deaf high school graduates in the United States is roughly at the fourth grade level.
  • Only one fourth of severely to profoundly Deaf students leaving school read at the fifth grade level.
  • 90% of Deaf children are born to hearing parents who do not communicate with them.

*Deafness stats:
Deafness and Hearing Impairmen

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Pinellas Public Library Cooperative | 1330 Cleveland Street | Clearwater, FL 33755-5103 | Phone: (727) 441-8408 | Fax: (727) 441-8938