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Deaf Link Helps You Serve the Underserved

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news and business-building ideas
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Deaf Link
Helps You
Serve the
Underserved
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People who are deaf aren’t immune
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to current real estate challenges, says
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Dayton Schrader, a longtime subscriber
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to the sign language service Deaf Link.
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“Offices have designated parking
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spaces and accessible restrooms, as
well as Braille on signs and in elevators,
Chiodo compares the importance of conbut there’s generally nothing done for
sulting an expert signer to the importhe hearing impaired,” says Schrader, a
tance of consulting a translator to serve
Broker Associate and Chairman’s Club
hearing consumers who don’t speak
member with RE/MAX Associates in
your language. Chiodo says there’s a
San Antonio. “When times are tough,
common misconception in the United
it’s even harder for people who are deaf
States that sign language mimics Engto find the services they need because
lish when, in fact, it’s legally classified
businesses start cutting back.”
as a native language itself.
To assist these clients, Schrader
“You shouldn’t and probably wouldn’t
(ABR, CCIM, CDPE, CLHMS, CRB, CRP,
have someone who can barely order a
CRS) subscribes to Deaf Link, which
cerveza interpret for one of your Spanprovides certified sign language interish-speaking clients, particularly in the
preters around the clock via a videoconcase of a serious transaction such as
ferencing system. The program allows
buying or selling a home,” Chiodo says.
Sch rader to rev iew closi n g
“It’s not uncommon that peodetails, contracts, financing and
ple who are deaf are accomother critical information with
panied by friends or family
his hearing-impaired clients.
members with remedial sign
The interpreter translates clearly
language sk ills. The term
and accurately so that all parties
‘earnest money’ could misunderstand the details. Because
takenly be signed or interDeaf Link interpreters are certipreted as ‘serious money,’
fied level-three translators, conwhich wouldn’t convey the
tracts they assist with are legalproper meaning.
ly binding, whereas translations 4$)3"%&3
“I’ve bought eight housconducted by family members
es, and as a native English
or friends aren’t always valid.
speaker, many aspects of the
Deaf Link has various service plans
transactions were way over my head. For
beginning at $45 a month. In addition,
non-native speakers of English, which
Deaf Link offers pre-recorded interpretaincludes the deaf community, the steps
tion services to create sign language vidcan be even more confusing.”
eos explaining various aspects of your
Another challenge, Chiodo says, is
real estate transaction process, such as
finding businesses that offer the servica listing presentation, making an offer,
es. She suggests that any RE/MAX office
inspections and closings. For more inforor agent who subscribes to Deaf Link
mation, visit www.deaflink.com.
should heavily promote their participaDeaf Link Founder and CEO Kay
tion. Local organizations for the deaf or
any of several local and national conferences that are held each year make great
starting points.
“When reputable, accessible businesses are discovered, word of hand
travels fast among people who are deaf
and the hearing people who care about
them,” Chiodo says. “Ninety percent of
deaf babies are born to hearing families, which means there’s a pretty huge
peripheral market when you serve deaf
clients. If a RE/MAX office advertises
use of the Deaf Link service, they’re
sending a message that they’ll go out of
their way to serve everyone’s real estate
needs.”
Chiodo says Schrader has set the
standard in his market for serving people who are deaf, emphasizing that he
earned the sign for his name.
“Hearing people don’t create signs
for a person’s name; deaf people do,”
Chiodo says. “The sign for ‘Dayton’ is a
D over the heart and the sign for house.”
Schrader says subscribing to the service is worth it to see the look on a client’s face when he’s able to help them
on the spot, even if it means he doesn’t
use the service every month. He hopes
to see more RE/MAX offices participate
in the Deaf Link program.
“This is a way for RE/MAX to be out
in front of the issue and further differentiate itself from everyone else.”
TWhat you will need
To use t he Deaf Lin k ser vice,
Schrader simply turns on his computer, makes sure the Web camera is
working and logs in to the Deaf Link
site. Within minutes, a sign language
expert is ready to assist. The following items are required to connect to
the system, in addition to a monthly
subscription:
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s6 IDE O C A ME RA DE S I G NE D FOR
Web use
TInformation
Learn more about the Americans
With Disabilities Act, which outlines
for businesses the required accommodations for consumers with disabilities.
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