Did you know there are American Sign Language Inclusion (ASLi) trail crews in every other region in the country but the Southeast? These crews for deaf youth and young adults provide access to job training and skills in conservation or the outdoor environmental field. With Chattanooga gaining national recognition for its outdoor recreational opportunities, Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC) believes those perks should be extended to all members of our community. ASLi crews are one way to increase inclusion to a population of people who otherwise have greater barriers to access and less opportunity to work and explore our natural places.
Our $985 grant will be used to purchase eight sets of camping equipment, one for each member of the ASLi crew. This includes eight tents, eight sleeping bags, and eight backpacks thanks to a pro deal from The North Face. This gear will be used by both crews in 2019, as they run consecutively, totaling the number of people being supported by the gear to 16 teens (16-19 years in age) in 2019. After launching the pilot crew this summer, SECC believes this program will build upon itself and operate annually as our other SECC teens crew do each summer. Get outside, folks.