600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02125
Phone: 617-740-1600 (voice) 617-740-1700 (TTY)
Deaf, Late-Deafened, and Hard of Hearing Programs and Services – Learn about what the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing can do for you
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:45 AM – 5 PM
Additional Locations: None.
Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearingis a commission, under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, which serves as the principal agency representing the Commonwealth’s 560,000 Deaf, late-deafened and hard-of-hearing people with state government.
What are the primary mandates for the MCDHH? The Commission was established to advocate for; to provide and to coordinate public policies, regulations and programs; and to provide full and equal opportunity for deaf, late-deafened and hard-of-hearing people in Massachusetts.
The MCDHH is mandated to improve communication accessibility and quality of existing services; to deliver certain specialized services; to promote or to deliver necessary new services; and to assist other state agencies in delivery of services to deaf, late-deafened and hard-of-hearing people. The Commission is mandated to increase public awareness; to determine the extent and the availability of services; to determine the need for further services; and to make recommendations to the Governor.
People of all ages who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.
The Department of Interpreter Services maintains and coordinates a statewide interpreter referral service for deaf, late-deafened and hard–of-hearing persons; and also referrals for Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART). Services: screens and approves potential interpreters; provides information regarding interpreter services, evaluations and certifications; supports training of interpreters; and assists in determining communication competence in American Sign Language.
The Fund for Purchase of Interpreter Services and Fund for Purchase of CART Services pay for the services of interpreters and CART providers to enable communication access for deaf, late-deafened and hard-of-hearing people for many types of events in which other agencies are not legally responsible to pay.
The Department of Communication Access, Training and Technology Services provides public education on all issues related to hearing loss. It also provides free communication accessibility training and technical assistance to state agencies as well as to public and private entities and to organizations seeking to ensure compliance with the relevant provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It produces the Commission’s informational materials; manages the agency’s Web site; and provides general information related to deaf, late-deafened and hard-of-hearing people, their needs and services to requestors via telephone, TTY, e-mail and Internet.
The Department for Case Management and Social Services provides referral services; cross-agency case coordination; technical assistance to state and to community agencies around cases and in policy and procedures development; assistance to deaf, late-deafened and hard-of-hearing individuals with complex life situations; and Chapter 688 Transitional Case Management services in special situations; bilingual case management services; and training to hard of hearing individuals regarding factors related to hearing loss.
Program Development and Special Services: MCDHH conducts needs assessments; establishes work groups; develops and pursues action plans to enhance already existing specialized services for deaf, late-deafened and hard-of-hearing people; and promotes development of needed special services.