Our mission is to knock down communication barriers by creating awareness about the Deaf community and the importance of learning American Sign Language. Also, introducing other communities to a rich, vibrant, exciting and historical Deaf Culture.
We provide Deaf advocacy, community involvement and education to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. As well as education and community involvement for the hearing community
"Bridging the communication gap, one sign at a time."
- Niccole Pazos, Founder CEO
Niccole Pazos began at a young age with her work in the Deaf Community. At 7 years old she was fascinated with the sign language interpreter at church, there she began to learn the language. When she turned 14 she registered for American Sign Language at her high school as her second language requirement. There she became proficient in the language and served over a thousand hours of community service to better the Deaf Community. Niccole feels blessed that she was able to find her passion at a young age, and in High School she decided that she would dedicate the rest of her life to creating awareness about the importance of learning American Sign Language and servicing the Deaf Community.
Throughout the past 20 years she has worked in varies non-profits for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, but realized that there was more that needed to be done. She branched off two years ago on her own and created The Bridge Outreach for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She began teaching sign language in pre-schools and teaching mommy and me based sign language programs in local libraries.
Niccole feels that it’s imperative that while improving the Deaf Community it’s equally as detrimental to inform the hearing population about the Deaf community. The more people that know sign language and understand the proper methods of communication with a Deaf person will help reduce the high depression rate amongst our Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. For this reason, the Bridge offers a community partner education program, where they go into local business and teach the employees basic knowledge of American Sign Language along with other proper methods of communication to engage and welcome Deaf Consumers.
The mission of the Bridge is to knock down communication barriers by creating awareness about the Deaf community and the importance of learning American Sign Language. Also, introducing other communities to a rich, vibrant, exciting and historical Deaf Culture.
Today the Bridge has expanded from it start up in March of 2015, and now is in a variety of locations, such as libraries, schools, business, the chamber of commerce. Summer of 2016 they funded a week-long summer camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. The Bridge also offers one on one tutoring for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing while concentrating on the transliteration of ASL to English, and even offering ASL tutoring services to hearing students who have different communicative disorders such as speech apraxia, selective mutism and cerebral palsy.
Additionally, The Bridge offers community education and engagement for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, they offer series and workshops in a wide array of topics to educate the local community. On August 4th 2016 the Bridge hosted the first Deaf Family Night Out in Florida it was the first of its kind amongst this special population. There they were able to service over 400 families, by providing back to school supplies, and a fun night out where local Deaf families came together to mingle, play games win prizes and watch a Deaf friendly movie. Since then they have hosted numerous events, such as a monthly bowling day, free educational workshops for the community and interpreter workshops.
This summer the Bridge will also offer the first Deaf Equestrian camp to Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and families of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties.
The Bridge is also a community partner with Miami Dade College, Broward College, FIU and Barry University. where they work closely with their Sign Language interpretation program and this gives the students the ability to engage in the Deaf community and practice their sign skills out in the field. They also sit on the Board of Broward County Schools as a voice for language equlity. Additionally, the Bridge is also the sole provider to all of Broward County libraries for American Sign Language Classes. Moreover, the Bridge is well connected and partners at a state level as well. In January 2018 the Bridge petitioned a bill to Tallahassee in hopes to making a text to 911 mandatory state wide, we were able to gain congressional sponsors to push the bill, and the bill was passed that same week (ref-HB729). Lastly, The Bridge is well connected with local politicians as well, such as City Commissioners and Mayors, with this type of support we are able to host our events in any libraries, community centers of our choice in addition to backing us with publicity and positive feedback via social media and in commissioners letters.
The long-term vision for the Bridge is to become the first Community center, for the Deaf and Hard Hearing, here they will be able to offer all of their programs in one centralized location and offer an environment where communication can be fluid and unlimited to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. Additionally, within the next 5 years the Bridge intends on opening a coffee shop where we will employee Deaf and Hard of Hearing workers, to teach job skills, business skills and potentially culinary skills. Furthermore, the Bridge will also open a self-sustaining farm where we will help the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community obtain agricultural skills, all this is in hopes that the communication gap will be filled one sign at a time.