There are some activities going on in New Orleans still, but I get the sense that it wasn’t as strong as before. I have heard – by word of “hand” – that there were several deaf organizations and a deaf club here before the hurricane. They’re not here any more (as far as I can tell).
There are two monthly coffee chats. One in Metairie and one on the West Bank, in Greta, I believe. I know there’s a New Orleans Deaf Baptist Church. I haven’t visited that yet because I’m not Baptist, but I know the people who run that pretty well. Also there’s the Deaf Ministry at the Catholic Church in Bywater and an “Assembly of God” that does signed services on the West Bank (Really it’s the south bank people!!! I don’t know why but when I moved here I could not figure out where the “West Bank” is. It’s because rivers only are supposed to flow north and south. But in New Orleans the river does a funny half circle from west to east so if you look at a map it looks like the north and south bank- yeah confused me like crazy).
Other than that, I don’t know of any events. I’ve thought awhile about starting a Deaf Professionals Happy Hour. It’s difficult because of the break down of the deaf community here. Most of the young deaf people are Baptists. They will go to the Coffee Chat in Metairie, but Baptists don’t drink, so they wouldn’t be going to the DPHH. There are some young Catholics, but mostly the ones I’ve seen so far are parents. I don’t know a lot about the Assembly of God folks.
It would be nice to figure out a way to get these three communities together. I just don’t know how to do it yet. Maybe by simply starting the DPHH, I can bring people together regardless of religious background or reach out to those who are not a part of any church here.
Well the only mailing list that I know of in New Orleans is put together by the wonderful woman who is the wife of the deaf pastor of the Deaf Baptist church. So I know I can’t use that.
There’s another Web site called: www.deafbayou.com. I originally thought it was just for southwest Louisiana, but now I am noticing that they’re putting out events for New Orleans too.
Perhaps I can follow the footsteps of the Austin DPHH and start out with a New Years Eve event. So be on the look out for a noladphh.com. It would be neat to get it started before the National Association of the Deaf conference here next year: www.nad.org. Or maybe I’m just barking up the wrong tree, we shall see.