Building upon its six decade-mission of supporting, training and employing persons with disabilities, Hudson Community Enterprises (HCE) has launched a new social enterprise inspired by and created for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community to make workplaces more inclusive.
The DEAFinite Solutions initiative offers a comprehensive range of services including American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting, event planning, ASL content creation, and personalized support to make a business or organization more accessible and accommodating to deaf employees and customers.
“Not every business, government entity, school or health care organization has the tools to create an environment that is deaf-friendly,” said Joseph Brown, president of HCE. “Our newest program, DEAFinite Solutions, oﬀers a multitude of services that will help you make your work environment, service area, or community event more accessible and informative to the Deaf community.”
Daniela Rivera, vice president of Program Development, says that the services oﬀered through DEAFinite Solutions were inspired by the new team at HCE, brought in to focus on the deaf and hard of hearing. “Seventy percent of our new staﬀ members are deaf,” says Rivera. “This new enterprise features services not only inspired by the deaf, but also oﬀered by the deaf.
“Deaf-created businesses play a vital role in fostering inclusivity and empowerment within the community,” added Rivera. “They not only provide essential products and services but also serve as beacons of guidance and resources for businesses seeking to collaborate with the deaf and hard of hearing. Embracing their expertise and unique perspective enables us to build a world where communication knows no barriers, and diversity becomes our greatest strength.”
Brown noted that the mission of DEAFinite Solutions is unique in New Jersey, and the goal of the enterprise is not only to make the community more deaf-friendly, but also to provide employment opportunities for members of the Deaf community.
“Within HCE, we now employ 11 members of the Deaf community through DEAFinite Solutions and the Center for Employment and Inclusion, as well as through HCE’s long-standing enterprises, such as Electronic Content Management/scanning services.” said Brown. “Our greatest hope is that other employers and organizations learn that incorporating members of the Deaf community and persons with disabilities into their business growth plans is achievable. And we can provide the expertise and tools, as well as the potential pool of employees, to help you meet your inclusivity goals.”
In addition to DEAFinite Solutions, HCE also recently launched The Center for Employment and Inclusion for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CEI), which oﬀers a variety of employment-related support services and career opportunities.
Services for the deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, blind and low-vision individuals include vocational assessments, pre-employment transition services (ages 14-21), and an array of services to prepare individuals for employment through job readiness, coaching, placement and retention programs.
About Hudson Community Enterprises NJBIA member Hudson Community Enterprises (HCE) is a nonprofit that has been providing training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities for over 60 years. In addition to the services now oﬀered through DEAFinite Solutions, HCE also operates ﬁve social enterprises, including building maintenance services, Electronic Content Management (ECM)/document scanning, document shredding, digital printing and packaging and fulﬁllment. Each of these businesses employs persons with disabilities, many of whom have been provided workforce development/training and vocational rehabilitation through HCE.