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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today that the Telecommunications for the Deaf Incorporated (TDI) has been awarded a $1.4 million Competitive Training Grant to develop a network that will provide information on disaster preparedness and homeland security to individuals with hearing disabilities.

The DHS Competitive Training Grants Program provides funding for training initiatives to further the Department?s mission of preparing the nation in the event of a terrorist incident.  TDI completed a rigorous application process for this grant ? over 217 applications were received and the Department selected 14 programs for funding, totaling $33,645,997 to be awarded.

?The issues that people with hearing disabilities face in preparing for natural and man-made disasters are unique and complex,? said Daniel W. Sutherland, the Department?s Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.  ?Working with partners such as TDI, we can rest assured that innovative and effective solutions to these complex problems will emerge.?

On July 22, 2004, President Bush issued an Executive Order creating an Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities.  Today?s grant announcement follows the first official meeting of the Council hosted by the Department of Homeland Security last week.  

TDI intends to work with a consortium of local and regional disability consumer organizations.  Through this grant program, the project directors in each of the offices will provide numerous workshops in and around their region.  In addition, an online information resource will be developed to provide information nationally to this special needs population.

Through this grant, TDI will partner with agencies across the country including: Developmental Evaluation and Adjustment Facilities, Inc., Alliston, Massachusetts; Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons, Inc., Fairfax, Virginia; Communication Service for the Deaf, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Deaf Counseling, Advocacy, and Referral Agency, San Leandro, California.