MCDHH Community Services Division

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Deaf, late-deafened and hard of hearing people (birth through elderly) in need of human services are eligible for MCDHH case management.

Services Available Through the MCDHH Community Services Division

Children and Family Services

Realizing that parents of children who are born Deaf or with hearing loss face an especially difficult and emotionally draining challenge, MCDHH established specialized regional support services for these families and their children.

MCDHH Children's Specialists help to identify needs and issues, provide information about hearing loss, make referrals to appropriate specialized resources and assist parents in working with other public and private agencies. In addition, Children's Specialists also consult with or educate other service providers about the special needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Children's Specialists are carefully selected staff with an understanding of children and family issues. All Children's' Specialists are fluent in English and American Sign Language.

All services are free of charge and completely confidential. Services include but are not limited to:

  • Advocacy and support
    • Development and utilization of Service Plans
    • Appropriate education
    • Communication access
  • Chapter 688 Transitional Case Management
  • Parent Education and strategy identification
    • Effective of hearing loss at birth, during childhood, and teenage years
    • How to advocate for your child's education
    • Objective information regarding choices for "first language" development
    • Options and availability of Assistive Listening devices and systems
    • Options and availability of alerting and signaling devices and systems
    • Cultural perspectives of Deaf parents of Deaf and/or hearing children
  • Identification and Referral to Specialized Services
  • Classroom Observations
  • Technical Assistance
    • Early Intervention
    • Educational Programs
  • Cross-agency Case Coordination
  • Consultation
  • Trainings/Presentations

Children Specialists

Boston North Region

  • Melissa Dowler, M.S. Ed.
    600 Washington Street
    Boston, MA 02111
    melissa.dowler@mass.gov
    Cell (617) 694-9781
    VP (617) 861-8847

Southeastern Region

  • Melissa Adams, LCSW, CEIS
    600 Washington Street
    Boston, MA 02111
    melissa.adams@mass.gov
    Cell (617) 872-4087
    VP (617) 409-7496

Central Region

  • (Vacant)
    167 Lyman Street
    Westborough, MA 01581

Berkshires/Western Region

  • Emily Graves-Harrison
    436 Dwight Street, Suite 204
    Springfield, MA  01103
    emily.graves-harrison@mass.gov
    Cell/Text (857) 208-8009
    VP (413) 276-4524

Director of Community Services Division

Administrative Assistant

  • Bonnie Lincoln
    bonnie.lincoln@mass.gov
    Cell (857) 248-7783
    Voice (617) 740-1651
    VP (857) 288-1998
    Fax (617) 740-1830

Adult Services

Deaf and hard of hearing adults (age 18 and over if out of school) who have multiple, complex and legal issues are eligible for MCDHH's Adult Services.

Service Navigators are bilingual, fluent in English and ASL. They also have an understanding of the unique needs of the hard of hearing populations as well as Deaf Culture.

All services are free of charge and completely confidential. Services include but are not limited to:

  • Cross-agency Case Coordination
  • Advocacy and Support
    • Development and Utilization of Service plans
    • Communication access
    • Equal rights to services
  • Dealing with discrimination and access barriers
  • Identification and referral to Specialized Services
  • Collaboration with both public and private entities
  • Consultation and technical assistance to both public and private entities
  • Trainings/Presentations
  • Deaf and hard of hearing adults who do not have multiple complex and legal issues are referred to DHILS programs.

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