About Us

Mission Statement

Promote and advocate for the rights of full access to American Sign Language and English, education, employment, and cultural identity of, by, for, and with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, and DeafBlind people.

Our Vision

Global recognition, pride, respect for ASL, equality, and justice exist for all Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, and Deafblind people.


In the early 1960's, a group of deaf leaders began DCARA as an all-volunteer agency. It was incorporated in 1962 as a non-profit agency, under the name of East Bay Counseling and Referral Agency, Inc. In 1976, EBCRAD changed its name to Deaf Counseling, Advocacy & Referral Agency.

Our Values

  • Culture, Diversity, and Intersectionality

    Culture, diversity, and intersectionality are a cumulative deposit of shared knowledge, beliefs, hierarchies, religions, history, language, traditions, values, and ways of life.

  • Deaf Culture

    We integrate Deaf culture in the workplace; this includes the preservation, education, and celebration of Deaf people’s international sign languages, art, literary traditions, history, values, shared experiences, and our ways of being Deaf.

  • American Sign Language | ASL

    ASL is the language and human right of all Deaf, Deaf+, DeafBlindHard of Hearing and Deafened people; therefore all Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafened, and DeafBlind individuals have the right to access to ASL.

  • Communication and Language Access

    All individuals both outside and in the agency have the right to 100% communication access; therefore, we advocate for the removal of communication and language barriers.

  • Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Well-Being

    The health of a Deaf, Deaf+, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing and Deafened individual as a DCARA employee, board member, volunteer, or community member leads to better community relationships and services.

  • Accountability

    We hold ourselves responsible for our professional and personal behavior in the workplace and encourage the same of others in a supportive and positive environment.

  • Mutual Respect

    We recognize and respect each other’s boundaries — we don’t overstep our authority, we collaborate responsibly, efficiently, and honorably with others whether they be individuals, groups, or other organizations.

  • Integrity

    We strive to do the right thing and do it with honesty and we believe in approaching our business and daily operations with integrity. We conduct our business activities with confidentiality, accountability, and a strong work ethic.

  • Financial Sustainability

    Long-term financial planning is a vital discipline for creating and maintaining financial sustainability for DCARA, which requires creating a vision and engaging in proactive thinking and actions.

  • Quality Service

    We are committed to full consumer satisfaction. Services growth, additional resources, program expansion, and improved referrals to respond to community needs reflect our success.


I was without hope, without help, without support until DCARA helped me. Now I have the support I need to look to the future and feel that it is a bright one.
Jose E.
DCARA is a highly regarded organization and provides quality services to a unique and often underserved population.
Deborah Sweeney
District Administrator, Department of Rehabilitation