The purpose of the Conference Deaf and Hard of Hearing Committee is to identify the need for ministry with deaf/hard of hearing people and develop resources for it.
The terms "deaf" and "hard of hearing" are descriptive of a wide range of people. Some are hearing-impaired due to conditions that have existed from (or near) birth; some have lost hearing due to age and/or other advancing physical challenges; some have experienced loss due to trauma.
The population for this ministry is scattered. No one community within the Illinois Great Rivers Conference is serving a concentrated group; but throughout the IGRC there are church trying to offer ministry with deaf/hard of hearing individuals. The committee seeks to be a partner in this endeavor.
The committee works closely with Carrie Grieme, the coordinator of American Sign Language interpreters for the IGRC. She offers a free ASL class weekly at Jacksonville Centenary UMC.