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Services for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, DeafBlind

At DAIL we strive to reframe how we think and talk about the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafPlus, DeafDisabled and late deafened population. Using appropriate hearing terminologies is an important step in understanding the identities and needs of those we serve. A guide on how people may or may not identify themselves, as well as a brief understanding of how sound can be perceived, can be found in DAIL’s Hearing Terminologies document on our website. We encourage you to explore this document along with the many in-state and out-of-state resources listed below.

 

  Accommodations / Advocacy / ASL Classes / Assistive Technology / Developmental Disabilities / EducationEmployment / Early InterventionHearing Terminologies / Interagency Collaboration / Legislative / Professional Organizations / Public Safety / Public Service AnnouncementsRecreation / ResourcesSpeech-Audiology

Accommodations

American Sign Language Interpreting Services

Vancro Integrated Interpreting Services offers statewide referral services for American Sign Language (ASL)/English interpretation across diverse settings, including government, mental health, medical, legal, employment, educational, civil, and recreational contexts. Serving all Vermonters, including those who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, DeafBlind, and hearing, Vancro ensures communication access by providing sign language interpreters.

For updates and announcements, subscribe to their YouTube channel. Notably, Vancro has taken over Vermont Interpreting Referral Services (VIRS) operations. Additionally, they provide Specialized Support Provider services for individuals with dual sensory losses. Vancro conducts quarterly meetings, and the public is welcome to attend.

For immediate interpreting services after hours, call Vermont 211.

For complaints, check out Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf's Ethics page.

For complaints regarding Educational Interpreters and/or Communication Facilitators, please contact your child's school team if they were hired directly by the school. Alternatively, if they were hired by UVMMC, please reach out to them. 

Captioning Services

NCRA Sourcebook provides a list of CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services that offer both remote and onsite captioning.

White Coat Captioning is a premiere live captioning company that specializes in providing remote and onsite captioning services for conferences, classes, and special events. 

Advocacy

Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) provides support of became Deaf during their adult years. This group is intended for people who have lost the ability to understand speech with or without hearing aids after acquiring spoken language.  ALDA provides resources and information and promotes advocacy and awareness of the needs of deafened adults.

Deaf Vermonters Advocacy Services (DVAS) provides support and information to signing and non-signing Deaf, Late-deafened, Hard-of-Hearing and DeafBlind individuals in addition to outreaching and educating the public how to better serve and work with Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and DeafBlind people.

Vermont Center for Independent Living's Deaf Independence Program (VCIL/DIP) provides resources to promote independence to Deaf Vermonters. Our organization works with the Department of Public Safety's FireSafe802 program that distributes alarm clocks, carbon monoxide detectors and/or fire alarms. Our VT Equipment Distribution Program (VTEDP) and the Sue Williams Freedom Fund (SWFF) can help Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and DeafBlind peers obtain assistive technology at a lower cost. Our VTEDP still has money available for eligible Vermonters (including hearing peers with communication challenges) to receive adaptive telecommunications equipment.

Vermont Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America provides information, education, support and advocacy for people with any level of hearing loss. This chapter host bi-monthly meetings via Zoom and all members are invited to participate. Meetings include updates on Chapter activities (e.g., information on the status of legislative efforts advocating for insurance coverage for hearings), guest speakers, Q&A's regarding concerns of our members and socialization.

Vermont Family Network (VFN) is here to listen and to help with any needs or concerns families may have related to their child’s health, education, or well-being. VFN staff are families of children with disabilities or special health needs and understand the challenges and the gifts our children offer. Conversations are confidential and services are free. VFN can help explain how systems and processes in education and health care work, parents can learn to be a better advocate, VFN staff can help brainstorm next steps on self-identified needs, connect with other parents who share similar concerns, provide information, resources, and supports, talk about medical diagnosis or other health concerns, challenges in school, home or in the community and offers Parent Leadership opportunities. 

Vermont Hands & Voices is a state chapter of Hands & Voices — a parent-driven non-profit organization that supports families with children who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (DHH), without bias as to communication modes or methodology. Provides families with the resources, networks, and information needed to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children; includes outreach activities, parent/professional collaboration, and advocacy efforts focusing on enabling DHH children to reach their highest potential.

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American Sign Language Classes

College:

Community College of Vermont

Norwich University

University of Vermont (The university offers ASL as a minor.)

High School:

Burlington Park and Recreation

Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind Educational Services Program

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Program (ATP) offers demonstrations and loans of equipment designed to enhance, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities, including Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and DeafBlind individuals. Current HireAbility consumers are encouraged to discuss their need for assistive technology (AT) services with their counselor. Non-HireAbility consumers can reach out to the Assistive Technology Service Coordinator to express an interest in receiving services. Based on their region, they would be assigned to an AT Access Specialist who can provide further information and support. To learn more about available services, individuals should contact the Assistive Technology Program.

The FCC's Disability Rights Office (DRO) addresses disability-related matters, including access to telecommunications services and equipment; hearing aid compatibility; access to advanced communications services and equipment; access to Internet browsers built into mobile phones; telecommunications relay services; the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program; accessible video programming and video programming apparatus (access to televised emergency information, closed captioning on television and television programs on the Internet, audio description, and accessible user interfaces, text menus, and program guides). They provide expert advice and assistance to other Commission bureaus and offices, consumers, industry and others on issues relevant to persons with disabilities. The DRO initiates rulemaking where appropriate. The DRO also reviews relevant agenda items and other documents and coordinates with Bureaus and Offices to develop recommendations and propose policies to ensure that communications are accessible to persons with disabilities, in conformance with existing disability laws and policies, and to ensure that they support the Commission’s goal of increasing accessibility of communications services and technologies for persons with disabilities.

Hearing Aids:

How to Make Your Virtual Meetings Accessible

I Can Connect (ICC) provides free equipment and training to people with both significant vision and hearing loss who meet disability and income guidelines.

Vendor List of Products for People with Hearing and Vision Loss, Vermont

Vendor List of Devices for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Vermont

Vermont Telecommunications Relay Service (VTRS)- Vermont Relay provides several different relay service options including TTY, CapTel (captioned telephone), Hearing/Voice Carry Over, and TeleBraille as well as Relay Conference Captioning (RCC) at no cost to those who live and work in the state of Vermont. VTRS is funded through the Vermont Universal Service Fund.  

Vermont Telecommunications Relay Service Advisory Council

Virtual Meetings Matrix

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Developmental Disabilities

Northwestern Counseling Support Services provides support to individuals who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and/or hearing with communication challenges who uses sign language and other forms of communication to work closely with the individual served on this team.

Early Intervention

The Parent Infant Program (PIP) is a statewide early intervention program that services deaf and hard of hearing children, birth to age three and their families. Support and training are provided to families around their children's hearing and communication needs to help ensure they reach their full language and learning potential. Visits are provided remotely and in-person within the child's home and/or childcare center. PIP works collaboratively with Children's Integrated Services (CIS) and audiologists throughout Vermont.

Speech and Language Services (0 - 3) - We provide evaluations and direct services to children and their families who are eligible for early intervention.

Vermont Early Hearing Detection Intervention Program (VTEHDI) is a combination of Health and Early Intervention/Education. VTEHDI works with hospitals and other community providers, such as early head start, homebirth midwives and primary care professionals to provide newborn and early periodic hearing screenings.  However, we are more than a screening program. The program provides support, training, and care management to families and their babies, and to community providers. These partnerships ensure timely referrals for diagnostic testing and early intervention services.   The health portion includes screening, diagnosis of hearing loss and then early intervention services. Families have a choice of communication options/opportunities. Some families may choose hearing aids and/or cochlear implants. Other families may choose for their child not to use any type of medical device. Also, family choice may include American Sign Language (ASL), Listening and Spoken Language (LSL), English, Cued Speech, bilingual or any combination. At the federal level EHDI has been expanded to cover from birth to age 3.

To locate a cochlear implant clinic, find a CI Clinic.

To locate an ENT, refer to the Otolaryngology Department at their local hospital.

To locate either an audiologist and/or a hearing aid dispenser, find a professional. You will find a listing under their website.

Education

College Scholarships for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind prospective students

Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind Educational Services Program (DHHDBESP) is housed within the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC). It is part of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. The focus of this program is to ensure that children and students (age 0 to 21), regardless of their communication needs, have the appropriate services, consultation and equipment needed to be successful in their home and/or school environment. The following are provided in both remote and in-person services:

School Age Services: We provide a wide range of services throughout the state of Vermont to children ages 3 through high school graduation. These services include educational interpreting, communication facilitating, sign language instruction to families, students and school teams, ongoing direct instruction from a certified teacher of the Deaf/Hard of hearing and education audiology services.

K-12 Special Education Evaluation Implementation Guide | Agency of Education (vermont.gov)

National Deaf Center (NDC) shares information, networks, and strategies to improve continuing education and training for deaf people. From online learning modules to individualized consultation, our resources are deaf-centered, evidence-based, and community-informed.

NASDE serves as a guideline on how to enhance Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind students' outcome in their academic successes.

The New England Consortium on Deafblindness (NEC) is a federally funded grant program serving Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. The program operates under the United States Department of Education, specifically in the area of Special Education.  Its purpose is to support the Agency of Education in building the necessary capacity to effectively serve children and youth who are DeafBlind.  

The University of Vermont Center on Disability and Community Inclusion: CARES Team

The Consultation, Access, Resources and Equipment Support (CARES) program provides Technical Assistance, Consultation and Training. CARES partners with public school teams to help build capacity, ensure equitable access, and support the education of all students (age 3-22) who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind (DHHDB).

Vermont Communication Plan for Students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind | Agency of Education

Vermont Service Matrix for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and DeafBlind Children

Employment

HireAbility (formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)) services are open to all people whose disabilities impact their employment. We offer specialized services for the Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and DeafBlind population within Vermont. Their counselors are dedicated to supporting individuals in achieving success in the workforce.

Interagency Collaboration

Secretary of State (SOS) encourages candidates to refer to a document on making elections more accessible for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind constituents. 

Making It Accessible - Justice of Peace offers a recorded free online training.

The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) has created a resource page specifically for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind communities. 

The Vermont Language Justice Project has created an ASL - YouTube channel focusing on COVID-related and healthcare topics. Subscribing to their channel allows viewers to receive new videos.

The Vermont Department of Taxes has developed a resource document specifically for Tax Professionals.

Legislative

The Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind Advisory Council (DHHDBAC) has information available on their website or under the Resources section, specifically on the Board and Commissions page. Information related to the school-aged subcommittee can also be found here.

Legislative Reports pertaining to the council can be accessed by typing "Deaf" in the refine results search option. 

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is a prominent civil rights organization that represents Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals in the United States. The organization's mission is to safeguard and advocate for the civil, human, and linguistic rights of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people in the United States.

Vermont Association of the Deaf (VTAD) is a local non-profit organization dedicated to protects the rights of the Deaf individuals and their families to accessible services; to empower Deaf individuals to exercise self-determination and independence; to advocate for equal opportunities in social, educational, and employment opportunities.

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Professional Organizations

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing promotes the use of spoken language as well as hearing technology for children with hearing loss.

CODA International strives to bring Children of Deaf Adults together to celebrate their unique heritage and multicultural identities.

Hearing Loss Association of America promotes new technology, medical research and legislation that will alleviate the effects of hearing loss, and we encourage and participate in research to improve hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and other technology needs of consumers with hearing loss. HLAA also promotes and encourages self-advocacy. 

The Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults (HKNC) is a national program that provides vocational and rehabilitation services exclusively to youths and adults who are DeafBlind. HKNC offers virtual and residential-based training programs, at its headquarters in Sands Point, NY, to individuals with varying levels of combined vision and hearing loss. Comprehensive training includes vocational and rehabilitation skills such as independent living, assistive technology, communication, orientation and mobility and more along with support in obtaining employment and identifying community resources. To learn more, contact your New England regional representative.

Registry of Interpreting for the Deaf has documents that can convey best practices using interpreters in different scenarios: Standard Practice Papers.

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) is known as a consumer advocacy membership organization. TDI promotes equal access to telecommunications, media, and information technologies for American people who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, late deafened, or DeafBlind. 

The Vermont Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (VTRID) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of interpreters, DDBDDHH* community members, and other allies. We collaborate to promote high-quality interpretation between tactile, signed, and spoken languages throughout the state with the utmost integrity and respect. 

For ASL interpreting programs, click on ASL Interpreting Programs.

*Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing

Public Safety

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers a visor card, which can be obtained by filling out a form on their website: General Information | Department of Motor Vehicles (vermont.gov) or by visiting the local town clerk’s office.  All DMV field offices provide the usage of UbiDuo at the front counter to facilitate easier communication access. The UbiDuo is a communication device specifically designed for individuals who may have communication difficulties. It enables real-time, two-way communication through a split-screen display, aiming to enhance accessibility for individuals interacting with the VT DMV's front counter.

The FireSafe802 program, facilitated by the Vermont Center for Independent Living, assists low-income Vermonters who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and DeafBlind in obtaining essential items such as fire alarm detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and/or alarm clock. 

Text-to-911 is a service available in Vermont that allows individuals, including those who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, to contact emergency services via text message instead of making a phone call. This was initiated in 2014 to be accessible for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people who prefers to text rather than call 911. Review this website: Text to 911 (text911.info) to locate whereas you can use this feature across the nation.

Public Service Announcements

DAIL's Commissioner's Office has its own YouTube channel that can be found: Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind Services - YouTube. Subscribing to their channel allows viewers to receive new videos.

Recreation

Summer Camps for 2024 for DHHDB Children and KODAs

Vermont Family Network's Summer Camps List 2022

Resources

Healthcare Communication Policy Template

Healthcare Communication Policy FAQ

Video: Examples of Accommodations in Healthcare settings 

Speech/Audiology

American Academy of Audiology focuses on providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders.

For audiology programs, click on Audiology Programs.

Office of Professional Regulation provides information about hearing aid dispensers.

Vermont Speech Language Hearing Association serves the needs of professionals in Vermont who advocate and support individuals with communication, swallowing, hearing disorders through professional development, advocacy and colleagueship.

For speech language pathology programs, click on Speech Language Pathology Programs.

Laura Siegel, MBA

Director of Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, DeafBlind Services

(V/VP): 802-560-5170

Email: Laura.Siegel@vermont.gov

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