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The US Refugee Program and the Treatment of Deaf refugees

[presentation is tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 21 at 3 pm]


Presenter:  Pam Kefi


Description of the Presentation:

     This presentation will explain to participants the basics of the US refugee program from overseas refugee processing to reception and resettlement in local communities. Country-specific cultural and language barriers, stigma, education deprivation and systemic ignorance and discrimination will be covered. The “refugee pipeline” will be illustrated through the eyes of a Deaf refugee, highlighting the barriers to communication that exist and are typically inadequately addressed. The presentation will finish with recommendations for local “partnered” resettlement services and how both Deaf serving agencies or volunteers and resettlement workers can find each other and develop such services.

Presenter’s Bio:

Pam Kefi is the Executive Director of Deaf Access Services where she developed a Deaf refugee program and oversees sign language interpreting, advocacy and social services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities in WNY. Pam was Executive Director at the International Institute of Buffalo and Program Director at the Jewish Family Services Center for Survivors of Torture.  She has worked in other human rights arenas addressing refugee resettlement, human trafficking, crime victim services, terrorism victim response, Deaf community development in Haiti and special education in Tunisia.   She was a peace corps volunteer and serves on the board of RAHAMA.