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Statewide deaf and hard of hearing survey underway

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services provides services to people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. How can Deaf and Hard of Hard of Hearing Services improve? What services do you need that are not provided?

We invite you to respond to these questions as part of a study funded by the 2015 Legislature. The study will find out the needs of Minnesotans who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing.

Public Consulting Group, an independent agency, is doing the study. They are working with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division and the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans.

Send your comments to Public Consulting Group. You may send them in writing or in American Sign Language on video to MNDHHSDinput@pcgus.com. To send your comments in ASL, create your own video file and attach it to the email. Please answer these questions:

  1. How can Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division services be improved?
  2. What services do you need that the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division does not provide?

Your email will go directly to Public Consulting Group. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division will not see your email. The Commission of Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans will not see your email. Public Consulting Group will include your opinion in a report but they will not use your name. They will not put your email address in their report.

Please send your comments by Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division provides services through regional offices in Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Virginia, St. Cloud and St. Paul. For more information, go to http://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/adults/services/deaf-hard-of-hearing/.

Emergency preparedness survey ready

The DHS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division and the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens are working to address emergency preparedness issues for people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. Together they developed a short survey related to emergency preparedness. Please complete this survey by May 31.

Free trainings on mental health, hearing loss offered

The DHS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division is offering three free trainings this spring at its offices in the Golden Rule Building, 85 E. 7th St., Suite 105, St. Paul.

“Mental Health Services in the Deaf Community” will look at communications and cultural needs, including the importance of working with specialized mental health interpreters. This training will be 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13.

At “Personal Journeys and Victories,” four individuals who have gone from hearing to being hard of hearing will share their experiences from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 19. A question-answer period will follow their presentation.

“The World of Hearing Loss,” a free, fun, interactive training about being deaf, deafblind and/or hard of hearing, will be offered from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, or 9:30 to noon Thursday, June 16.

To register for any of the trainings, call 651-431-5940 or email dhhs.metro@state.mn.us with your name, email, phone number and name of training.

Free "Dispelling Myths" training set in Mora

DHS will sponsor "Dispelling the Myths: Deaf and Hard of Hearing 101," an all-day, free, public training covering various aspects of being deaf and hard of hearing. The seminar is set for 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, at Eastwood Life Enrichment Center in Mora, Minn. 

Encouraged to attend are businesses, employers, public agencies, parents of children with a hearing loss and others who are interested. The training will have a small interactive session in which participants can experience a simulated hearing loss. Equipment for people who are deaf and/or hard of hearing will also be demonstrated. 

Other topics to be covered include:

  • Terminology and definitions
  • Communication tips and methods
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Hard of hearing issues
  • Deaf culture
  • Resources

Due to the limited seating, early registration is encouraged by calling the DHS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services' St. Cloud office at 1-800-456-3690 or by sending an e-mail to dhhs.stcloud@state.mn.us. When registering, please provide the following information: name and complete address; employer and job title; daytime and evening phone numbers; date of seminar; and email address. A confirmation email or phone call we will be sent about one week before the training. Registration must be received by April 26.

If you need a sign language interpreter, assistive listening device, or other accommodations, contact dhhs.stcloud@state.mn.us or 1-800-456-3690 at least three weeks before the seminar.

Training opportunity available for mental health interpreters

Are you interested in interpreting in mental health settings? Are you a certified interpreter who lives in Minnesota? The DHS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division Mental Health Program has an opportunity for you. Financial assistance is now available for attending the July 2016 Mental Health Interpreting Institute in Montgomery, Ala. Applications are due on Friday, March 18.

New diversity training opportunities available for the public

DHHS offers free diversity trainings on topics related to deafness and hearing loss that are available to the public. Please see our trainings page for more information.

MNsure navigators fluent in sign language, available

MNsure offers free face-to-face application and enrollment assistance, called brokers or navigators. Brokers provide face-to-face enrollment assistance and advice to help you select a private health plan. Navigators offer free face-to-face application and enrollment assistance, and specialize in Medical Assistance and Minnesota Care application assistance. Certified brokers and navigators are available throughout the state to help you with enrollment.

You can find an assister near you or who speaks ASL (or other languages) using the MNsure Assister Directory. If there are no assisters who speak ASL near you, you can contact MNsure’s Accessibility and Equal Opportunity (AEO) office to request an interpreter or other communication access. You can contact the MNsure AEO office at: AEO@MNsure.org, or by calling the MNsure Contact Center at 1-855-366-7873.

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