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Deaf VISA, Inc.

Deaf Visitors and Immigrants for Self-Advocacy

Our Priorities

Deaf VISA program priorities include:

  • Affirming Strengths
  • Connecting Communities
  • Promoting Communication
  • Advancing Self-Advocacy

Our Unique Story

In 2011 a group of Deaf and Hard of Hearing internationals living in Maryland and DC came together to address ongoing unmet needs and to brainstorm solutions with other individuals from the signing community. These diverse and passionate Deaf and Hard of Hearing visa holders came from countries including Japan, Mongolia, Bermuda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and others. They discovered common challenges such as social isolation and ongoing systemic barriers to communication, basic education, economic opportunity, and independence. Together they set out to create the nation's first organization tailored specifically to address their needs. That organization came to be known as Deaf Visitors and Immigrants for Self Advocacy or Deaf VISA, inc 

Our Mission

The primary purpose of Deaf VISA is to maximize the empowerment of Deaf internationals living or staying in America by affirming their strengths, connecting communities, promoting communication, and advancing self-advocacy. Deaf VISA shall carry out its mission by engaging a wide continuum of members and displaying an ongoing commitment to human rights and the right to self-determination. Deaf VISA is organized exclusively for charitable, advocacy, and educational purposes.

Our Philosophical Commitment

All Officers and other paid and unpaid officials of the organization, as their first act of duty, shall accept the following pledge available in ASL and English:

“I shall, to the best of my ability, perform my duties with a commitment to respectful interaction consistent with the ideals of international human rights and respect for the personal dignity and self-determination of those involved in the organization. I shall also avoid committing intentional or unintentional, egregious, or persistent acts of discrimination including but not limited to: audism, ableism, elitism, ethnocentrism, linguicism, racism, religious discrimination or intolerance, sexism, and other behavior that harm individuals’ rights to self-determination and self-worth during my term of duty. I shall seek to eliminate any attitudes that feed such discrimination in my time with Deaf VISA.”