Houston, Texas has a deaf and hard of hearing community with plenty of social opportunities, accessible religious services, educational programs, and movie theaters with captioning. There are also multiple choices for learning sign language in the community.
Social Opportunities for Deaf in Houston
The greater Houston area has a website devoted to it: Greater Houston Deaf. Although this website was somewhat outdated at the time About.com visited it, it does have a current list of events for Houston Handtalk, a signing supper/ASL dinner type activity that meets at local shopping malls. Another eat-and-meet opportunity is offered by Houston Deaf Chat Coffee. Just as the name implies, people meet at local coffee shops like Starbucks. Still more eating and drinking events are found on the website of ASLSocial.net.
Houston also has its own Deaf Professional Happy hour, similar to that in Washington, DC. The Houston Deaf Professional Happy Hour website has job listings, though most jobs are not deaf-related. Additional deaf social events can be found on the blog Houston ASL Events (this is a fairly new blog, with a calendar).
Accessible Religious Services in Houston
Houston has quite a few interpreted church services, plus deaf churches. A listing of church events is on the Greater Houston Deaf website.
Entertainment for Houston Deaf
The website CaptionFish.com shows that there are three movie theaters in the city of Houston with captioning:
- AMC Gulf Pointe 30 (Rear Window Captioning)
- AMC Willowbrook 24 (Rear Window Captioning)
- Edwards Greenway Palace 24 (Open Captions)
A few theatres in Houston appear to be accessible: The Alley Theatre has offered captioned and interpreted performances. Another theatre, the Express Children's Theatre, has offered interpreted performances.
Interpreting in Houston
Houston has a handful of interpreting services. These services are listed on the DeafNetwork.com's regularly updated Interpreter Service page.
Intepreter training is available at two community colleges and a university. North Harris Community College has an interpreter training program, oddly named Interpreter Training Technology that offers both an Associate's degree and a Certificate. The Houston Community College also has an Associate and Certificate in sign language. At the bachelor's degree level, the University of Houston, has a four year degree in interpreting.
Deaf Education in Houston
Houston's Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District has services for deaf students at two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. The Melinda Webb School is an oral school for deaf children 18 months to six years old, at The Center for Hearing and Speech. The Houston Independent School District also has services for the deaf and hard of hearing, at Sutton Elementary School, T.H. Rogers School, and the Barbara Jordan High School for Careers.
Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Houston
A check of the website Texas Hands and Voices showed that there is no Houston chapter, but the Contact Us page does have a contact parent for Houston.
Baby Sign Language in Houston
Houston parents who want to learn baby sign language for their hearing babies have some choices. My Smart Hands offers baby sign language classes in Texas. In addition, The Motherhood Center in Houston has baby sign language classes.
Organizations for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
There do not seem to be that many organizations for the deaf and hard of hearing in Houston. A few known organizations are:
- Houston Black Deaf Advocates
- Hearing Loss Association of America - Houston Chapter
- Deaf-Blind Multihandcapped Association of Texas
About.com did come across a new organization, the Houston Deaf Forum, which says on its website that it hopes to become an advocacy organization for deaf and hard of hearing people in Houston.
Other Deaf American Communities
Houston sounds like a pretty good place to live if you are deaf or hard of hearing, or the parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. Would you like to learn about other American deaf communities? About.com has "visited" several other American deaf communities.