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The idea of Deaf Unity began in 2005, and was founded in 2008 by Deaf Community professional and grassroots leaders and supporters from the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Disability Rights Wisconsin, and the then-Department of Health and Family Services and the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. It was recognized that there was a truly significant need for American Sign Language (ASL) based services for Deaf victims experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Before Deaf Unity was formed, Deaf victims faced numerous barriers in getting services from mainstream domestic violence and sexual assault programs, because they did not have advocates who knew ASL and could communicate with Deaf victims, or did not know how or where to get qualified interpreters for services.

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