Skip to content

LEAP Session: Can You Read My Lips?

Join Melissa Hawkins and Kendra Barlet as they advocate for the equity and belonging of individuals with hearing disabilities.


Friday, October 14th, 2022


via Zoom

About this event

Can You Read My Lips?

Join us for a captivating conversation with Melissa Hawkins, Director, Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and ASL interpreter, Kendra Barlet, with the Commonwealth of PA.

Ever wonder what it’s like to read lips when you’re deaf & hard of hearing, or why it’s important to have subtitles during zoom meetings? Melissa Hawkins estimates that about 1.5 million people in Pennsylvania are deaf or hard of hearing. “In times of crisis, it is especially critical that we consider the needs of all people to access and understand important information about their health and safety,” Hawkins states.

In her role as director of Pennsylvania’s Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (ODHH) within L&I’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Melissa Hawkins collaborated with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and Department of Health to bring critical information to Pennsylvanians who are deaf and hard of hearing to keep them informed of the latest information related to COVID-19 and the Wolf Administration’s efforts to protect Pennsylvanians. 


As the Community Foundation, we know that Lancaster County is at its most extraordinary when we’re all challenging ourselves to learn, grow, and find new (or time-tested) ways to develop ways to care for our community. We are proud to leverage the extraordinary wealth of expertise, insight, and innovation to bring our community the most exciting slate of free learning sessions yet. We hope you will join us for one or all of these opportunities, and bring your questions, ideas, and hopes for taking this learning beyond the session into our shared work of building a more equitable future for our community!


The Community Foundation is committed to working with our community benefit sector to build capacity, enhance networks, and create connection! We have created a series of meet-up groups for CBO professionals to gather together, share successes, build capacity, and learn from each other. 

We have sessions for CBO development/fundraising professionals, communications/marketing CBO professionals, Executive Directors, and CBO professionals interested in exploring and deepening the work of using diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their organization’s mission.