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New reports look at services for people with hearing loss

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) recently received two studies that look at the needs of Minnesotans who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing and how well they are being met by services of the department’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division.

The department contracted for the studies at the direction of the 2015 Legislature. The report by Public Consulting Group presents findings of consumer surveys, stakeholder surveys and town hall meetings and makes recommendations regarding next steps to improve the division’s services. The report by The Improve Group studied whether the Telephone Equipment Distribution program administered by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division is meeting communications needs of Minnesotans who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing or who have communication challenges due to speech or physical disabilities. This report includes recommendations for updating the equipment distribution program. 

DHS plans to use findings of the studies to prepare a report to the 2017 Minnesota Legislature on the future of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division and its services.

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:, or by calling the MNsure Contact Center at 1-855-366-7873.

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