Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDHH)
It is the mission of SDHH to provide high-quality, innovative services that result in employment opportunities, improved quality of life, and full inclusion in society for Arkansans who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and deaf-blind. The professional staff of SDHH is knowledgeable about the unique barriers faced by people with hearing loss and speech disabilities and is experienced in collaborating with both the person experiencing the barrier as well as the community at large to develop effective solutions.
Vocational Rehabilitation provides specialized employment services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. ARS has several counselors in Arkansas who have specialized training and are able to provide direct communication with consumers with hearing loss by using sign language or other techniques to communicate effectively.
Independent Living Services – SDHH
The purpose of independent living services is to enable people who have hearing loss to become independent in their homes and communities. People who are deaf or hard of hearing often face barriers that are not immediately related to work. Independent Living Services (ILS) are provided to assist in removing those barriers. ILS may also be provided in support of Vocational Rehabilitation Services or to prepare a person for vocational training. The ILS Program is carried out through IL Counselors assigned to different areas of the state. The IL Counselor works with the consumer to develop independent living skills and set attainable goals. ILS may begin early in the consumer’s life, as soon as hearing loss is diagnosed, or later in life as lifestyles or environments change and present barriers.
Interpreter Services provides interpreters for the customers of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the Independent Living program, students attending the Arkansas Career Development Center (ACDC), employees of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS), and several other entities related to ARS.
Staff interpreters also:
- Provide information to the public on contracting and using interpreters
- Maintain a list of private practice Interpreters
- Contract with Support Service Providers (SSPs) for people who are deafblind
- Maintain a list of SSPs
- Coordinate the statewide Quality Assurance Screening Test (QAST), a state screening mechanism conducted to evaluate the skill level of interpreters.
If you would like more information regarding our services, please contact one of our Staff Interpreters at Arkansas Rehabilitation Services at 900 W. 7th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201, or call (501) 686-2800.
Technical Assistance and Training
We provide training and technical assistance to deaf and hard-of-hearing Arkansans as well as to agencies, organizations, and businesses such as law enforcement, hospitals, 911 call centers, and behavioral health clinics. We recognize that it is critical that members of the Arkansas community have access to information about how to remove barriers so that people with hearing loss may experience full access.
Examples of topics include (but are not limited to):
- Introduction to Hearing Loss
- American Sign Language and Deaf Culture
- Assistive Listening and Other Technologies
- Accommodations in the Workplace
- Use of Interpreters
- Real-time Captioning
- Strategies for Effective Communication
People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind who are unsure about their rights, or who need assistance in accessing services are welcome to call any of the staff of SDHH for assistance.
The Independent Living Services (ILS) Program is carried out through IL Counselors assigned to different areas of the state. The IL Counselor works with the consumer to develop independent living skills and set attainable goals. ILS may begin early in the consumer’s life, as soon as hearing loss is diagnosed, or later in life as lifestyles or environments change and present barriers.
Services are provided to individuals who meet the income and severity of hearing loss guidelines. Income eligibility maximums are based on family size.
Services are based on an individual independent living plan and may include counseling, audiological and medical evaluation, independent living skills training, adaptive equipment, basic sign language instruction to the individual or family members, interpreter services to support other planned services, information, and referral, and advocacy.
The ILS Program also conducts community awareness programs to enhance the understanding and integration of individuals with disabilities.
Telecommunications Access Program (TAP)
The Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) provides free telephone equipment to eligible Arkansans who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or who have a speech, visual, mobility, or intellectual disability that prevents them from using a standard telephone. TAP is a program within Arkansas Rehabilitation Services that removes the barriers to telecommunication access through the provision of accessible communication technology.
Quality Assurance Screening Test (QAST)
Arkansas Deaf Community News
March-April 2023 – Arkansas Deaf Community News
November-December 2022 – Arkansas Deaf Community News
September-October 2022 – Arkansas Deaf Community News
June-July 2022 – Arkansas Deaf Community News
January-February 2022 – Arkansas Deaf Community News
November-December 2021 – Arkansas Deaf Community News
September-October 2021 – Arkansas Deaf Community News
July-August 2021 – Arkansas Deaf Community News