DCARA is a 501(c)3 Charitable Organization
All Donations Are Tax-Deductible
Federal Tax ID: 94-6104039

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

1. Culture, Diversity, and Intersectionality within the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafened, and DeafBlind community

We recognize, respect, and cherish the tapestry of cultures that make up the community it serves. We respect diversity, including but not limited to ethnicity, religious faith, lifestyle, Deaf identity, hearing loss identity, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and cultural diversity. We respect intersectionality, such as how gender, race, ability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of identity on multiple and often simultaneous levels interact. We acknowledge, respect, support, and value the fluidity of an individual’s varied identities.

2. 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.

3. American Sign Language (ASL)

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

4. Communication and Language Access

All individuals both outside and in the agency have the right to 100% communication access. For effective expressive and receptive communication for every individual, we advocate for all forms of reasonable accommodations such as telecommunication, interpreters, captioning, real time captioning, and/or assistive technology.

5. Mental, emotional, spiritual well-being of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafened, and DeafBlind individuals

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

6. Accountability
  • Individual: Individuals are accountable for their actions.
  • Agency-wide: We are accountable for upholding our mission, values, and belief systems; we have a responsibility to “walk the talk.”
  • Community: The community collaborates with us to affirm and validate our values, practices, and programs.
7. Mutual Respect

Each of us self-identifies in different ways; thus, we model mutual courtesy and respect of each of our identities. We strive to learn from each other and support each other’s learning processes when we make mistakes.

8. Integrity

We strive to do the right thing and do it with honesty. We believe in approaching our business and daily operations with integrity.

9. 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. We engage in financial risk management practices. We run our organization like a business.

10. Quality Service

We are committed to full consumer satisfaction.

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