For these 2,000 individuals, the need for information about HIV/AIDS is as critical as it is in the larger hearing community. Yet the deaf community has far fewer services tailored especially for them.
At APLA, case management services are provided under the direction of Brett Gallini. Currently, Gallini has about 30 people in his case load.
The needs of Gallini's clients vary. One of Gallini's clients, for example, wanted to attend traffic school but could not afford to hire an interpreter. Gallini put the client in touch with a traffic school for the deaf. He also helps clients find Section 8 housing, and other programs accessible to APLA clients.
Much of Gallini's time is spent communicating in sign language with doctors, dentists and others as deaf, HIV-positive individuals conduct daily activities that hearing individuals don't think twice about.
He says he would also like to see more self-management on the part of his clients and have more of his clients working. Education on safe sex and safer sex is still a vital need.
For information on services for the deaf and hard of hearing, call (323) 993-1306.