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Deaf Services: Response to September 11th


A FEMA Funded Program

Deaf Services

Following the tragic events of September 11 and the ongoing war on terrorism, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared Arlington County a disaster site and given Arlington County a grant to establish the Community Resilience Project (CRP). The mission of CRP is to promote resilience--the ability to "bounce back" after an unexpected hardship or disaster. Those who were close to the Pentagon attack, in particular, and in the surrounding region may be experiencing ongoing stress reactions in response to the tragedy. Even months after a disaster, it is not unusual for one to experience sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, preoccupation with the event, fear, anxiety, sadness, worry, social withdrawal, loss of appetite, and/or increased consumption of alcohol or drugs. These stress responses are normal reactions to an extremely abnormal situation. Thus, the purpose of CRP is to help individuals in the community to process and adjust to stressful events. 

CRP performs outreach, education, and/or counseling services free of charge to individuals, families, businesses, or community organizations without regard to race, religion, or ethnicity. The project is free, flexible, and focused on helping people gain a wide range of skills to help with stress and anxiety as a result of heightened security measures or to develop new life strategies as a response to changed values or shifted priorities after September 11. 

CRP consists of a culturally diverse team of mental health professionals fluent in a number of languages. Two recent additions to our staff have been hired to work with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon, and Alexandria. They are knowledgeable in deaf issues and can adapt to a variety of communication modes and needs. 

In addition, we are looking to collect personal stories from Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals regarding the experiences in which were encountered on September 11th. We hope to use these stories to advocate for improved emergency response services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated. Please feel free to send your story to the email addresses listed below.

For more information about the Community Resilience Project, please call 703-228-4831 (TTY) or 703-228-4788 (Voice). 

Outreach Counselors: 

Alicia Healy, email at or page at 

Cathy Friedlander, email at or page at 

Please visit the Community Resilience Project for Northern Virginia Website at

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