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Deaf Services



Deaf Community Events


 Know Your Rights Workshop


Know Your Rights Workshop

Deaf Community Members: Understanding Your Rights
Presenter: Sharon Caserta, Esq.
Certified ASL Interpreter
Attorney from Morgan & Morgan, Deaf/Disability Rights Unit

WHEN: Saturday, November 16, 2019
TIME: 9:00AM - 12:00PM
WHERE: Arc by the Bay/St. Andrew Bay Center
1804 Carolina Ave
Lynn Haven, FL 32444

There will be morning snacks and drinks provided at the workshop. There will have door prizes.


If you want to know more information about the workshop, please contact Pastor Mark Ehrlichmann or Mary Therese Garcia

Sharon Caserta Bio:
She was born in the Boston, Massachusetts area and began her professional career as a certified American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter. She interpreted extensively in the legal systems in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont for many years. She was awarded the Specialist Certification for Legal Interpretation by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf which is a credential awarded to less than 400 interpreters in the country.

Ms. Caserta obtained her Bachelor's in Science Degree magna cum laude from New Hampshire College. Ms. Caserta later moved to Florida and attended Florida Coastal School of Law (FCSL) where her internships included clerking at the Office of the Public Defender Fourth Judicial Circuit, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. and with the Honorable Thomas E. Morris at the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida.

In 2005 upon graduating cum laude from FCSL she was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship and created the first deaf/hard of hearing litigation unit in Legal Aid. She has dedicated her practice to representating persons with disabilities as they fight for equality, dignity, and advancement. Litigation on behalf of her clients has resulted in increased access for members of the deaf and disabled community in many forums and monetary damages for their discrimination.

In addition to her litigation experience accommodating persons with disabilities, Ms. Caserta has extensive lecturing about the rights of persons with disabilities, and training ASL interpreters to work in legal settings. She created on-demand training tools to assist lawyers to effectively represent deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and her articles on that subject have been published in the Clearing House Review Journal of Poverty Law and Policy. 






 Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services






Advocacy Services:


DRC works as an advocate for D/deaf, hard of hearing, latened deaf, deaf-blind to request and ensure the provision of appropriate accommodations for effective communication. For those who believe they may have been denied access to effective communication under the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, or other federal or state laws. We can provide consultation and information regarding the complaint process and other avenues of recourse. 


For more information on the ADA and Accommodations for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons in medical settings, download this booklet: 


 Educational Pamphlet Regarding Medical Practices, Deaf Patients, and Federal Laws


Community Education:


DRC provides education about deafness to the eight (8) counties we serve (Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, and Washington) through outreach presentations available upon request. We also have a Business Partnership Program to provide educational materials to businesses and other organizations about using the Florida Relay Service (711) to communicate with hard of hearing and deaf individuals on the phone. Our ongoing effort to create community awareness about persons who are hard of hearing or deaf is accomplished through presentations to civic clubs, neighborhood and professional associations, businesses, churches, and schools. We also participate in health fairs and community expos. 


Interpreting Services: 


Through the provision of DRC's qualified and/or certified sign language interpreters, D/deaf consumers are provided effective communication during medical appointments, mental health counseling, government agency meetings and other public services. For this service, please print and fill out the DRC Interpreter Request Form. The form can then be mailed, emailed to or faxed to Carol, our Deaf Services coordinator. In the future if there is sufficient area interest, we would like to offer workshops for local sign language interpreters so that they can improve their expressive and receptive interpreting skills. DRC maintains a DVD and book loan library for area interpreters. Topics include Idioms, signing to children, medical terminology, improving expressive and receptive skills, and finger spelling practice.


Interpreting Services Application 


 ADA Effective Communication - Title III in ASL:









 Video Source:


Family Services:


DRC recognizes the need to provide a variety of support services to D/deaf individuals and families with D/deaf or hard of hearing family members, and to empower D/deaf or hard of hearing clients who need assistance in overcoming any communication barrier and accessing community resources. This is accomplished through information exchange and referral to appropriate service providers throughout the Central Panhandle of Florida. DRC is considered by many as a central source of information on deafness, sign language, communication systems, interpreting, and adaptive and accessibility equipment for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.


Job Assistance: 


In order to assist D/deaf and hard of hearing individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, our offices have partnered with and have a close working relationship with Vocational Rehabilitation, Goodwill, CareerSource, and other employment related businesses/agencies to provide assistance towards adequate employment to D/deaf and hard of hearing people. DRC office provides printed material related to finding and maintaining employment from our loan library. DRC offers sensitivity training to employers who have D/deaf and hard of hearing individuals on staff.



Join the Local Deaf Community Group on Facebook





Our Deaf Services coordinator, Carol Davis, can be reached on VP at (850) 387-1800 or on voice line at (850) 769-6890 extension 305, or by e-mail:



Contact Info


Disability Resource Center


300 West 5th Street

Panama City, Florida 32401


(850) 769-6890 phone

(850) 387-1800 video phone

(850) 769-6891 fax