Deaf & Hearing Impaired Services in Farmington Hills, MI Helps Deaf, Hard of Hearing Find Support Groups

Top Quote As much as 10% of the population of Michigan is deaf or hearing impaired. Finding support groups to aid this important part of the population is a vital part of the services provided by DHIS. End Quote
  • Detroit, MI (1888PressRelease) January 14, 2014 - The deaf and hard of hearing make up as much as 10 percent of the Michigan population, according to the State's Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing. These individuals inhabit a wide range of life situations, from children in school to those in the work force to seniors on fixed budgets and with limited transportation.

    Fortunately, southeast Michigan has a strong network of support groups and organizations that address the special needs of the deaf and hard of hearing, says Linda Booth, president of Farmington Hills, Mich.-based nonprofit Deaf & Hearing Impaired Services, Inc. (DHIS).

    Their needs do involve expense, whether it is training programs for American Sign Language interpreters, special education programs in our schools or assistive hearing devices for seniors. Clearly, in an era of tight public financing and strained personal budgets, this region's "community of caring" will need to make less dollars go further by working together toward common support goals.

    "We must demonstrate to our funding sources, whether public programs or private donations, that we are both efficient and effective, whether it's referral services, the quality of our certified sign language translators or individual case management," says Booth, whose DHIS Senior Program brings group education, counselors and rewarding activities to "where seniors live" throughout southeast Michigan.

    Nearly half of those deaf or hard of hearing become so in their mid-60s. As never before, Booth says it is incumbent on social service groups like DHIS to communicate their programs to the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as the public at large; to work as a valued partner with other social service groups; and to listen better to those it serves.

    "Yes, we need to be a compassionate voice for the deaf and hard of hearing, but we also want to make sure we remain consumer focused, providing the programs and services these individuals need and ask for," Booth explains.

    One approach will be a new support group so that the deaf and hard of hearing and their families or caregivers can share "what works," while DHIS gains further insight into future needs and how best to allocate resources.

    To find out more about programs for the deaf and hard of hearing; to find a certified American Sign Language interpreter; or to attend one of DHIS' senior programs in your community, please call Deaf & Hearing Impaired Services at 248-473-1888 (Voice) or 248-473-1875 (TTY); or visit

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