What are DHILS programs?

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:

AreaDHILS ProgramProgram Contact
Boston /
Greater Boston D.E.A.F., Inc.
215 Brighton Ave.
Allston, MA 02134
617-254-4041 TTY/Voice
617-254-7091 Fax
Central MACenter for Living & Working
Deaf and Hard of Hearing IL Services
484 Main Street, Suite 340
Worcester, MA 01608
508 755-1003 TTY/Voice/VP
508 755-1072 Fax

North Shore, Salem D.E.A.F., Inc.
35 Congress Street, Suite 204
Salem, MA 01970


978 740-0394 TTY
978 740-0329 Voice
978 740-0389 Fax
978.740.0394 VP

Northeast Independent Living Program*
20 Ballard Road
Lawrence, MA 01843

*DEAF Inc Subcontract


978 687-4288 TTY/Voice
978 689-4488 Fax IP

Western MA & BerkshiresStavros Center for Independent Living, Inc.
262 Cottage Street
Springfield, MA 01104-4002
413 781-5555 TTY/Voice
413 733-5473 Fax
413 781-5553 VP

AdLib Center for Independent Living*

215 North Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413-442-7047 V/TTY
413-443-4338 Fax

*Stavros subcontract

413 442-7047 Voice /TTY
800 232-7047 Toll Free Voice
413 443-4338 Fax
71 Main Street
Suite 1300B
Taunton, MA 02780


508 802-5833 TTY/Voice
508 802-5835 Fax
508 692-9390 VP

Cape Organization for the Rights of the Disabled
1019 Iyanough Rd. #4
Hyannis, MA 02601

*DEAF Inc subcontract

508 775-8300 TTY/Voice
508 775-7022 Fax
800 541-0282 Toll free TTY/V

D.E.A.F., Inc.
105 Williams Street Room 25
New Bedford, MA 02740


508 990-1382 TTY/Voice
508 996-2170 Fax
508 990-1382 VP

This information is provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.