CABIN JOHN, Md.-During a dedication ceremony for $26 million Taylor Model Basin Federal Credit Union’s new headquarters, their sponsor’s couple dozen deaf employees understood what was being said through the interpreter that was provided. CEO Patty Dawson said the credit union has a small but active deaf population within the credit union’s 3,000 members. After two years of working out of a temporary location on base-the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division-the headquarters dedication finally took place in October. NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker was on hand to present a plaque and letter to the small defense credit union. “I don’t know if we go out of our way to accommodate them, but the tools are there,” Dawson said of the deaf community within the field of membership, explaining that the installation has an interpreter on-site for the employees. “We try to schedule meetings for when an interpreter can be there.” Dawson added that she thinks they appreciate that. TMB FCU also beta tested their Web site ( with the deaf members, which has a support group through their employer. “We had them review the site because they use visual clues more than anybody,” Dawson said. That was five years ago and the credit union plans to do it again soon. Though the small credit union offers a wide variety of services, including on-line banking, and has a helpful Web site, that was really done to help the entire membership; it’s just an added bonus that it particularly helps out their hearing-impaired members.

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