FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          Connecticut Department of Public Health

September 20, 2013                                                               Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                                               (860) 509-7270


Hartford —The Department of Public Health (DPH), with support from the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), today announced the release of a video educating people who are deaf and hard of hearing about the importance of preparing for an emergency.


“Preparing for emergencies is important for all Connecticut residents, but we know that some people face barriers to accessing information that could help them become better prepared,” said DPH Risk Communication Coordinator Diana Lejardi. “Based on our research, we developed this video to improve access to preparedness information for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. We hope it proves to be a valuable resource for this community.”


The 11-minute video features a family who is deaf, learning about the importance of preparedness. The video, in American Sign Language with captions in English, utilizes deaf actors and covers a number of emergency-related topics including emergency planning, building a preparedness kit, and what to do during emergencies.


“Emergency preparedness is such a critical issue for everyone, but ensuring that the information is accessible to all Connecticut residents has been a challenge,” stated DORS Commissioner Dr. Amy Porter. “This video is a tremendous resource for the deaf and hard of hearing communities, and will be a great addition to DPH’s existing collection of emergency preparedness materials. We were so pleased to be invited by DPH to participate in this collaborative effort.” 


DPH is announcing the video in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, which is recognized  every September for the purpose of educating the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.


There are nearly 300,000 people in Connecticut who are deaf or have some type of hearing loss. The video is available on the DPH Preparedness website at, DPH social media sites and on DVD upon request through DPH. For more information about preparing for emergencies, please visit the DPH Preparedness website at


The Department of Rehabilitation Services, which includes the former Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, works to advocate, strengthen and implement state policies affecting Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals and their relationship to the public, industry, health care, and educational opportunities.


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at or call (860) 509-7270.