FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — In Maryland, Frederick has a significant deaf population. It is no secret the deaf community experiences challenges, and some residents say that communication challenges grew due to masks during COVID.

The deaf community endures a lot of hardship, which is why a mother of a hard-of-hearing child has partnered with a local business called Collective Efforts to form a nonprofit called United Hope, which she hopes will benefit the deaf community.

Laura Rogalsky, recently moved to Frederick County so her daughter can attend the Maryland School for Deaf. As a new resident, Rogalsky said she quickly noticed a major need for the deaf community. 

Rogalsky witnessed the divide between the hearing and deaf. She said during the holidays she saw many deaf residents struggle to provide for their families, and enjoy the festivities. 

According to the National Deaf Center, about forty percent of the deaf community are unemployed.

To combat this issue, Rogalsky is working to develop United Hope, which will feature fundraisers every holiday for deaf people in need.

Through fundraising and community efforts, Rogalsky hopes her nonprofit can offer rental assistance to the deaf community and other essential resources.

“Presently, in my upcoming fundraiser, I will be raising money to get the tax papers needed such as the 501C and hire someone to help me build my nonprofit. I have collaborated with a local business, Collective Efforts, and together we have created magnets and t-shirts that we will sell towards this fundraiser. There’s a few families I know that could use food and one that needs clothing. I hope I’m able to give to them as well as give to the Maryland School for Deaf,” said Rogalsky.

View more about United Hope here.