The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) is the principal agency in the Commonwealth on behalf of people of all ages who are Deaf and hard of hearing. Their mission is to ensure that programs, services and opportunities throughout Massachusetts are fully accessible to persons who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
Who MCDHH Serves
MCDHH serves children, youth, and adults who are Deaf and hard of hearing. MCDHH considers “children and youth” to be between 0-22 years old. MCDHH has five regional offices:
- Executive Office - Boston
- Southeastern Regional Office - Plymouth
- Western Massachusetts Regional Office - Springfield
- Central Massachusetts Office - Westborough
- Berkshire Regional Office - Pittsfield
For contact information for all five offices, click here.
MCDHH Services for Children, Youth, and Families
Newborn Hearing Screening
Working together with DPH and other partners, MCDHH provides information and support for parents whose baby has not passed the newborn hearing test. MCDHH connects parents to educational opportunities and other services to prevent long-term consequences from delayed language learning.
Case Management Services
MCDHH provides case management services (PDF | Word) for children who are Deaf and hard of hearing and their families. MCDHH Children’s Specialist can identify issues, provide education, and connect families with needed services. All Children’s Specialists are fluent in English and American Sign Language (ASL). Examples of services include:
- Parent education on language development options, assisted listening devices, and advocating for their child’s education
- Cross-agency case coordination
- Communication access
- Assistance with Early Intervention and other educational programs
Massachusetts Department of Education and Secondary Education maintains a statewide list of schools and other educational programs for Deaf and hard of hearing students. MCDHH also works with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to ensure that interpreters working in school settings are registered with MCDHH and have passed the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment. Any teacher who wishes to qualify for a Teacher of the Deaf/American Sign Language license must pass the Sign Language Proficiency Interview, which is administered by MCDHH.
Independent Living Services
MCDHH works with service providers across the state to provide Independent Living Programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, referred to as DHILS. These programs help Deaf and hard of hearing people to become more independent through peer mentoring, self-advocacy training, training on independent living skills, and access to support and recreational activities.