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Our mission

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division promotes equal access and opportunities for Minnesotans with hearing loss through effective communication, collaboration and direct services.

Program overview

Minnesotans who are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing can get help from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division to live independently, engage with their families and participate in their communities. Services are available from any of the five regional Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD) offices and community-based providers located throughout the state. 

Who is eligible? 

DHHSD provides services to Minnesotans of any age who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, late-deafened, parents and family of those with a hearing loss, human service providers, employers and business, schools, and other interested individuals and communities. 

About our regional office services

Statewide regional offices provide information, resources and referrals for Minnesotans who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing and late deafened. Services include:

  • Helping individuals navigate complex service systems so they can continue to live independently and productively in their home communities.
  • Providing training, consultation, direct assistance, advocacy and collaboration to help individuals make informed decisions.
  • Offering training and technical assistance to providers on how to make services accessible.
  • Technical assistance developing community and in-home service options that meet the needs of people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing.

In 2022, regional offices:

  • Provided information and referrals for resources and services to 699 people and 233 agencies.
  • Provided direct services to 519 people and 200 agencies.
  • Provided 17 trainings and 7 presentations to 553 people.

About our Mental Health Program 

The Mental Health Program provides culturally affirmative mental health therapy and counseling in American Sign Language to adults who are deaf and have mental illness. Other services include crisis intervention, case coordination, after-care planning and community placement help. Training is available to mental health service providers who work or are interested in working with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind. 

In 2022, the Mental Health Program:

  • Provided direct services to 135 people.
  • Provided 2,425 total service hours, and 2,173 hours (90%) were for direct service hours.
  • Supported people to achieve or make good progress on 88% of their mental health goals.

About the Telephone Equipment Distribution Program 

The Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) Program provides telephone equipment to people who are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing or have a physical or speech disability and need adaptive equipment to use the phone. The equipment is provided to eligible consumers at no cost as a long-term loan. Available equipment includes captioned phones, amplified phones, light-flashing ring signalers, teletypewriters for the deaf (TTYs), loud ringers, interconnectivity devices and hands-free speakerphones. In 2022, the TED program:

  • Provided direct services to 455 people.
  • Distributed 467 accessible phone devices to 413 people.
  • Provided program information to 1,467 people through 8 booths and 10 presentations.

About our community-based grant-funded programs 

DHHSD community-based services funded by state grants include:

  • Mental health services for adults and children.
  • Support services for adults and children who are deafblind.
  • Mentors who help families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing learn American Sign Language (ASL) and other communication and life skills.
  • Sign language interpreting services for funerals and 12-step meetings in Greater Minnesota.
  • Sign language interpreter training and professional development opportunities in Greater Minnesota.
  • Real-time captioning of live TV news programming statewide.
In 2022, community-based programs provided:
  • Mental health services to 160 adults and 132 children.
  • Deafblind support services to 133 adults and 36 children.
  • Family communication mentor services to 43 families with children.
  • Interpreting services for 41 funerals and 47 12-step meetings in Greater Minnesota.
  • Nine training workshops and 4 specialized training programs to 217 interpreters in Greater Minnesota.
  • Real-time captioning services for 827.5 hours of live TV news programming statewide.

Download a fact sheet about how we help.

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