What are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services?

The Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) works in partnership with people who are deaf or hard of hearing to eliminate societal and communication barriers to improve equal access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. DHHS advocates for people of all ages who are deaf or hard of hearing to enable them to express their freedoms, participate in society to their individual potential, and reduce their isolation regardless of location, socioeconomic status, or degree of disability.

What Services are Provided?

Camp SIGN

Camp SIGN is a week-long summer program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing between the ages of 8 and 15. A counselor in training program is available to children who are deaf or hard of hearing between the ages of 16 and 17.
The camp program is dependent on donated funds. Donations are welcome throughout the year and are tax deductible.

Consumer Education

Training and other educational activities are provided for people who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as for their families, service providers, schools and institutions, employers and government agencies. Training is offered periodically throughout the year. Please contact dhhs.training@hhsc.state.tx.us for upcoming events.

Driver Visor Cards

Drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing can get an visor card to carry in their vehicle to identify themselves as being deaf or hard of hearing.

To apply, complete Form DARS3955, Application for Driver Identification Visor Card.

Find a certified interpreter

Hearing Aid Information

Financial assistance to purchase hearing aids may be available from a variety of sources for children who get Medicaid, older Texans and people who are looking for employment.

Visit the hearing aid information page to learn more.

Information and Referral

Provides information and referral regarding deafness and/or hearing loss and services available to all persons who inquire, regardless of hearing loss. Referrals are made to the appropriate sources for additional services or information in the local communities or where appropriate.

Contact DHHS for information and referral services.

Interpreter Certification

The Board for Evaluation of Interpreters certification program tests and certifies the skill level of individuals who want to become certified interpreters in Texas. The program ensures that prospective interpreters are proficient in their ability to meaningfully and accurately comprehend, produce and transform ASL to and from English.

Visit the BEI webpage to learn more.

Interpreter Training

The Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) sponsors skills building and training opportunities for interpreters and coordinates training sponsored by other entities. DHHS also provides continuing education units for certification maintenance to participants in any approved training.

To participate in the Court Mentoring Program, complete the appropriate form:

The Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) approves courses and workshops that provide continuing education to interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Last Resort Communication Services

These services may be provided for people as a last resort to whom the Americans with Disabilities Act or other access mandates do not apply. Services, which include sign language, oral interpreters and real-time captioning, are designed to help facilitate access to essential services and community participation.

Find a provider near you.

View the LRCS rates here.

Resource Specialist

Resource specialists provide services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as other state agencies and service providers. Services are available statewide through contracts with local and regional service providers.

Program services, which are available at no cost, assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing to get the services they need from state and local government, service organizations, employers and private entities. They also:

  • Advocate removing communication, cultural and attitudinal barriers to provide more access.
  • Provide information and referral services.
  • May provide training geared toward helping people better understand the laws that support and protect them.

Deafness Resource Specialist work with people who are deaf, hard of hearing and who are late-deafened in the areas of:

  • Advocacy
  • Self-empowerment
  • Sensitivity training
  • Federal and state mandates on equal access to services, including education and employment.

In many instances, these specialists work as liaisons between consumers and service providers regarding appropriate service provision.

Find your deafness resource specialist.

Hearing Loss Resource Specialist help people increase their independence and self-sufficiency by focusing on:

  • Sensitivity training
  • Communication strategies
  • Assistive technology for the workplace, home and beyond

Specialists help locate resources when working with people who are hard of hearing or who have an acquired loss of hearing.

Find your hearing loss resource specialist.

Senior Citizens Program

This program is geared toward bridging communication barriers and reducing the isolation facing people age 60 and older who are deaf or hard of hearing. Services vary and may include coping skills training, independent living services and recreational activities.

Click here to learn about the rates paid for Senior Citizen Programs

Click here to find a provider near you

Telephone Access

The Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) helps people who have a disability that interferes with their access to telephone networks purchase specialized assistive equipment or services. To be eligible for a voucher, you must complete and return an application.

Visit the STAP page to learn more.

Tuition Waivers

Students who meet certain criteria can apply to have their tuition waived at state-supported, post-secondary schools in Texas.  

Visit the tuition waiver site to learn more.

How do I Find Someone to Provide Services?

A list of providers around the state can be found here.

Where do I Call to Get Started?

Contact one of the DHHS staff.

The DHHS "I LOVE YOU" License Plate is now available for ordering.

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