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Action Alert: Fairview Chemical Dependency Program

Please send letters in support of the program

12/13/2019 12:49:44 PM

ASL version

If you are DeafBlind or prefer to watch the video in a slow-paced, high contrast format, watch the DeafBlind friendly ASL version instead.

English version

It has come to MNCDHH’s attention that Fairview Health Services has decided to close the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals due to budget cuts. They plan to close in February 2020. This is one of the few programs designed for people who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing and seeking treatment for chemical dependency in our country. They have been providing services for 30 years.

Learn more about the financial difficulties that led to the decision to shut down the program on ADARA’s Facebook page. ADARA posted a letter from Debra Guthmann, Ed.D. on December 10, 2019.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Guthmann directly at or call/text 925-788-2852.

We are asking you to contact Fairview Health Services and explain, in your own words, why it is important to keep the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program. You may want to include these important points:

  • The Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program covers an important gap in chemical treatment services. No other program provides direct services in American Sign Language (ASL).
  • In other chemical dependency programs, deaf and hard of hearing people can only access the program during times where accommodations such as interpreting services are provided. Sometimes those accommodations are only provided during group sessions and lectures. This means that deaf and hard of hearing patients do not experience the same level of access as their peers.
  • The quality and accessibility of the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program is rare and offers deaf and hard of hearing patients the best chance of success. 
  • Describe the impact the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program has had on your life.

Please send your letters to

James Hereford, President/CEO

Fairview Health Services

2450 Riverside Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55454

You can also contact your legislators and ask them to support additional funding for the program.


The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing thanks:

James Paul Beldon III for ASL talent.

Mark Zangara for voiceover.

Keystone Interpreting Solutions for film production.

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