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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing

Hard of Hearing Services

Serving customers who are Hard of Hearing.

Services are geared to meet the very specific needs of Hard of Hearing individuals in achieving equal access, effective communication and a better quality of life

What Services Are Provided?

  • Advocacy and Consultation
  • Staff at the regional centers assist Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind individuals in achieving equal access, reasonable accommodations and effective communication in a variety of areas in their communities.

    • Referrals are made with the Employment Security Commission (ESC), the United States Department of Justice and other state and federal agencies.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed by Congress in 1990, ensures that people with disabilities are not discriminated against in:

    • Employment
    • Transportation services
    • Recreation programs
    • Public accommodations (hotels, restaurants, etc.)
    • Telecommunication services

    The civil rights law for people with disabilities requires the removal of barriers that prevent individuals from getting jobs and utilizing public services that people without disabilities have access to daily.

    Other laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities include:

    • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended
    • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
    • Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

  • Communication Support
  • Communication Support is provided to individuals and/or agencies. The purpose is to ensure that Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind consumers have full participation in daily life activities such as meetings, appointments, family gatherings and social activities.

    Our staff can provide support as it relates to the use of various types of communication that can assist an individual with hearing loss more fully participate in a variety of situations. Information on assistive listening systems is offered by DSDHH Regional Center staff. This includes information and consultation regarding the coordination of communication services for medical visits, job interviews, training and education classes and others.

    Interpreter Services Information: Information on interpreter services and guidance in the coordination of interpreter services is provided by each of the Regional Centers. Requests made by employers and service providers are accommodated.

    Assistive Listening and Visual Systems: The communication process for individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Deaf with other disabilities is aided by:

    • qualified sign language interpreters
    • tactile or up-close interpreters
    • assistive listening devices
    • real-time captioning
    • television captioning and decoders
    • computer assisted note-taking
    • oral interpretation
    • cued speech transliteration

  • Information and Referral
  • Information of importance and interest to Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind citizens is made available by the staff of DSDHH in a variety of ways. General information is provided to anyone contacting or visiting a center on many topics including:

    • local and state resources
    • programs concerning deafness and hearing loss
    • services provided by the Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing and its Regional Centers
    • other information as requested

    Information of deafness and hearing loss is provided to:

    • other local and state agencies
    • service provider
    • private businesses
    • the general public

    Referrals are made to the appropriate programs and agencies that help meet the needs of the consumers in each region.  Referrals are made to programs that include but are not limited to:

    • Employment Security Commission
    • Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living
    • Social Security Administration
    • Division of Motor Vehicles
    • local police departments, city, county and state government programs and offices
    • American Sign Language and interpreter training programs

    By determining the needs of the individuals who seek help from the DSDHH Regional Centers, the staff is able to give appropriate information based on those needs. Follow-up with the individuals assures that all possible resources have been sought and that the situation has been satisfactorily resolved.

    Information and follow-up are provided in the following areas:

    • Unemployment benefits job training and placement services/Government programs that include:
      • Social Security
      • food stamps
      • Medicaid
      • Medicare
    • Personal and family information that includes:
      • legal separation or divorce
      • child support
      • income taxes
      • budgets, financial planning and management
      • estate planning
      • checking and savings accounts

  • Workshops and Training
  • The Regional Center staff provides valuable training and educational opportunities to the local communities. Types of trainings include, but are not limited to:

    • ADA and civil rights information
    • Aging issues and information
    • American Sign Language (ASL)
    • Deaf Culture
    • Employment issues and concerns
    • Government programs
    • Hearing loss
    • Interpreter training and skills maintenance
    • Legal rights, citizenship

    If you have a specific training need relating to deafness or hearing loss please contact your local Regional Center. They will be more than happy to create training to fit your needs.

  • Outreach
  • DSDHH is responsible for providing the residents of the state of North Carolina with information about deafness, hearing loss and deaf blindness. DSDHH has a number of outreach tools used for the purpose of educating communities about our services as well as deafness and hearing loss events. DSDHH has a variety of informational fact sheets and brochures, we have informational booths and exhibits and we have quarterly calendar of events.

    If you are interested in receiving more information about DSDHH, deafness and hearing loss or you are an event organizer and think this type of information would be beneficial as an exhibit, please contact the Regional Center that serves your county.

Who is Eligible?

All individuals who are Hard of Hearing or have hearing loss, their family members, agencies and organizations that serve them and individuals interested in learning about hearing loss issues may ask for our services. There is no charge for most services.

How to Apply/Contacts

Contact one of the seven Regional Centers

Your Rights

Your rights

Brochures and Fact Sheets











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