What is Adjacent Space?
Adjacent Space is a group of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf Blind and Hearing folks striving to make Alabama more equitable and accessible through promotion of tools like captioning, providing American Sign Language Interpreting and other visual-tactile approaches.
The word "Adjacent" in location means to be close to, next to or on a triangle to have a common side or endpoint. In relationships “Adjacent” means to be close to or sharing some characteristics or values with something or someone without actually being it or fully encompassing it.
We feel that being “adjacent” is an approach to life. We might not physically be neighbors, but we all live in the same community; all our lives are adjacent to each other. Think of all the spaces we share with each other - workplaces, entertainment venues, healthcare providers, places of worship, schools, and even virtual events and social media sites. All of these spaces are shared with Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing community members. We might not all share the same culture or experiences, but we all deserve equal access and participation in the places we live, work, and play. With our organization, we are always asking “What are ways we can advocate for equitable Adjacent Spaces in our community?” to guide us.
Accessibility is not charity, it is a right that all Deaf people deserve. For a long time, Deaf individuals have accommodated hearing (a person who can hear) people's lack of understanding their accessibility rights. They will gesture, write something down in their second language (English) to communicate and have as much patience required to have a successful interaction everywhere they go. What if we flipped the script?
Accommodations look different for each individual and situation. There are many ways to approach accessibility such as offering to write on a piece of paper to take an order, providing captions for a movie on the screen, hiring an interpreter to provide understanding in ASL and in English, having brighter light in an area so that your Deaf customers can see each other as they sign. Going beyond compliance and meeting minimal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements we can reach full inclusion.
Learn more about the Adjacent Space community's mission and vision.