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Ada Kay Brown, Aglow officer in Kerrville, TX Community Lighthouse for Central Texas Area Aglow is a first responder volunteer, educated and skilled in American Sign Language and is a Deaf Support Specialist. She is also a volunteer with the American Red Cross serving since 2008. During Hurricane Harvey, Ada was deployed to San Antonio TX, on Friday August 25th after working at her local shelter for two days.

Upon arriving in San Antonio, she was sent to other shelters or other situations in New Braunfels, Corpus Christi, and Houston aiding in the rescue and transportation of the deaf and other disabled evacuees. While in different shelters, Ada advocated for the deaf between the Red Cross, city shelter managers, doctors, other evacuees, and government agencies.

In one shelter, a deaf evacuee had a service dog that was not permitted to stay with her. Under the A.D.A (American with Disability Act) the dog qualified as a service dog and was, by law, to stay with the deaf person. The shelter manager refused the dog, further traumatizing the evacuee. Because of Ada’s quick action in calling the ADA lead attorney for the State of Texas, he was able to intervene, and the service dog was reunited with its owner.

This is one example of how Ada worked feverishly ensuring the right of fair and equal access for the deaf and disabled. There are too many examples to list of how Ada advocated for the deaf and disabled. The need was so great that Ada stayed with the deaf/disabled evacuees day and night for days with no sleep herself. During that time, she aided in the evacuation of a deaf couple in Corpus Christi, transportation of nearly 100 disabled evacuees from the Houston area, went to the ER with a deaf client, and at one point became the lead shelter manager for over 300 evacuees. Ada was also assisting the Police Supervisor and the City Shelter Manager to counsel, evaluate and mediate many situations with the non-deaf of disabled evacuees.

Ada is still to this day working from her home helping some of the deaf evacuees find lodging, communicating with government agencies, setting up FEMA services, counsel, minister and more. Ada saw first hand the horrible devastation in the lives of those affected by the hurricane. She also saw the lack of interpreters and Deaf Support Specialists to help the deaf community. Central Texas Area Aglow will take this deficiency of interpreters and Deaf Support Specialists before the Lord for disaster preparedness organizations to couple with the deaf community for the need to be filled with more American Sign Language people to volunteer their services.

 Ada contributes her ability to meeting the needs of so many and keeping her stamina up for so long to the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Ada lost her hearing over the last few years and is now deaf herself without her hearing aids, and has Rheumatoid Arthritis which causes her to be in a wheelchair often. Ada stated that throughout this experience she was able to walk all day on concrete floors, through waist high water, etc. The anointing was so strong that she felt no pain and was able to stay awake and alert serving the deaf/disabled community.

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