MCDHH contracts with agencies to provide DHILS programs (Independent Living Programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people) at five sites throughout the state. The purpose of the programs is to provide a peer consumer environment to enable deaf and hard of hearing persons to become more independent and achieve their life goals. These programs employ persons who are themselves Deaf, late-deafened, or hard of hearing. Participants work with Independent Living Specialists for the Deaf to set and achieve their own personal goals for independent functioning in family, school, employment, and community situations.
What specific services do they offer?
The DHILS services include:
- peer mentoring for deaf persons; DHILS staff are ASL-fluent;
- peer mentoring for hard of hearing persons;
- self-advocacy training;
- training on a wide range of independent living skills topics such as the use of assistive technology, communication skills, how to manage money for daily needs, how to find a job, how to find support groups, etc.;
- topical workshops for consumer education;
- access to DHILS-based alternative support and recreational groups and activities;
- loan of assistive communication equipment: TTYs, caption decoders, and one-to-one listening devices;
- information and referral;
Who can participate in DHILS programs?
Any Deaf, late-deafened, or hard of hearing person, primarily age 14 through elder years, are eligible for DHILS services.
How are DHILS programs funded? Is there a charge for services?
The five independent living programs for deaf and hard of hearing people in Massachusetts are funded through state contracts administered by MCDHH. There is no charge for participation.
For more information, contact the DHILS program nearest to you.
DHILS Programs are located at the following sites:
Greater Boston D.E.A.F., Inc.
Center for Living & Working
North Shore, Salem D.E.A.F., Inc.
Northeast Independent Living Program*
*DEAF Inc Subcontract
978 687-4288 TTY/Voice
Western MA & Berkshires
Stavros Center for Independent Living, Inc.
AdLib Center for Independent Living*
215 North Street
71 Main Street
508 802-5833 TTY/Voice
*DEAF Inc subcontract
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.