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In the aftermath of the recent mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine — in which four deaf people were killed and five were injured — Gallaudet’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child Resilience Center (DHHCRC) rapidly released ASL videos on coping after mass violence, both for and , and how youth of different ages .

“The mission of the center is to provide support to families when they need it. This is the work we do,” says DHHCRC Director Dr. Lori Day, G-’08 & PhD ’10. DHHCRC is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a coalition of several hundred centers focused on improving and increasing access to mental health services. Its website hosts a vast array of resources, which it pushes out to the public when needed.

In 2022, after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, DHHCRC used existing NCTSN content to develop an ASL video on . While working with the community in Lewiston, the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that video and requested three more from NCTSN, adapting additional resources created in written English.

“We were shocked and horrified and wanted to support the people on the ground,” says Day, whose team started brainstorming how to make this happen as quickly as possible. “They had full workloads, but no one thought twice about prioritizing these videos.” All three were released within a week.

“The team at Gallaudet responded immediately, creating these videos in record time,” says Dr. Jenifer Wood Maze, Co-Director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, who praises the impact DHHCRC has had in ensuring that resources are available to everyone. “Lori has been a champion for language justice. Although this work has been underway for a while, the recent horrific shootings in Maine underscored the dire need for more information available in ASL.”

DHHCRC plans to continue to build up NCTSN’s ASL resources, identifying videos to create before another traumatic event occurs. “If we want to tackle health disparities, particularly mental health disparities, we need to make sure that the information we’re pushing out there is accessible for all,” Day says. “Support needs to be equitable.”

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