2015 DEJI: 63%
2014 DEJI: 55% • 2013 DEJI: 58%
What is Deafhood DEJI?
The Deafhood Economic Justice Indicator (DEJI) is a score showing what percentage of the organization’s expenses go towards to Deaf people and Deaf-owned businesses. The score creates important awareness, and by reporting the score on a regular basis — in our case, annually — helps us focus on increasing the percentage of the dollars going back into our community and creating economic opportunity for our people.
The formula is a simple one. We track each expense and tag them whether they are going to a Deaf person or Deaf-owned business or a hearing one. For our first three indicators of 2013-2015, we did not tag individual expenses — we went through each budget category and identified how much was spent towards Deaf and Deaf-owned businesses. We expect that in 2016, the indicator will be more accurate due to transaction level tagging. The sum of Deaf-related expenses and the sum of hearing expenses are then divided against the total expenses to get a percentage which then becomes our DEJI score.
There are additional questions that need to be addressed such as do we identify an ASL-using hearing person or hearing business as well as CODAs? How do we identify larger businesses that may be hearing owned but employ a significant number of Deaf employees? How do we calculate these?
Creating and sustaining Deaf economy and ecosystem
The importance of creating and nurturing Deaf ecosystem, a term used by Convo Relay and coined by Kelby Brick, Esq., can be clearly shown through this metaphor of creating a small pond as opposed to a huge Great lake or ocean as told by Marvin Miller, Deafhood Foundation board member in his TEDxIslay talk. The video begins at 12:40 mark, directly to this pond metaphor.