This list of organizations has been created by MN Hands & Voices at Lifetrack to let parents know about some of the most important resources available. Our directory is updated annually. This list is not exhaustive, and details about organizations can quickly become outdated. We encourage you to contact the organizations directly for the most current and comprehensive information.
About: ASLBlend was founded in 2013 by the owner of ASL Interpreting Services and Dynamic Communications, Pamela N. Wellumson. It is the intent of ASLBlend to be a fully Deaf led organization within the first five year of operation. ASLBlend was created to bridge the gaps witnessed over 30 years working in the community and expand services to people who are Deaf in Minnesota. These deficits are reflected in four main program areas:
Interpreting Services not covered by the ADA for people who are Deaf and their families, non-profit organizations and community groups, business owners who are Deaf, job interviews.
Community Education Programs including ASL Mentors to ASL learners, interpreters, and families, Continuing Education Unit courses for professionals, and Deaf Awareness Training for businesses and organizations.
DeafBlind Services including increased Support Service Providers (SSP), education around DeafBlind interpreting and SSP skills.
Life Skills Coach Program providing strong Deaf adult role models and a human link to the Deaf community for transition aged youth.
About: We also provide consultations on Deafness, cultural issues, and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and operate ASL Interpreting Services. ASL Interpreting Services is an interpreter referral agency and sister company of Dynamic Communications.
Services include: in-house training programs, sign language instruction, public seminars, consulting, job coaching, and ADA consulting and equipment. ASL Interpreting Services locates interpreters for a wide range of settings such as business events, medical appointments, school meetings, funerals, and musical/theatrical events. We also provide VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) as well as Deaf Mentors to assist with language needs.
About: Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial relationships with specially trained dogs.
We envision a future in which every person who needs and wants an assistance dog can have one.
Can Do Canines trains five main types of assistance dogs as follows:
Hearing Assist Dogs are often selected from local animal shelters. The dog alerts a person who is deaf or hard of hearing to sounds by making physical contact with them and then leading them to the source of the sound.
Mobility Assist Dogs work with people who have mobility challenges and other needs. They pick up and carry objects, pull wheelchairs, open doors, and help to pay at tall counters.
Diabetes Assist Dogs detect low blood sugar levels by sensing a change in their partner’s breath. The dog alerts their partner by touching them in a significant way.
Seizure Response Dogs respond to a person having a seizure by licking their face, retrieving an emergency phone, and alerting other family members.
Autism Assist Dogs keep children with autism safe in public settings and help them experience the world more fully by offering comfort and assurance. These special dogs also serve as a social bridge between the family and the public.
Each fully trained dog is provided free of charge.
Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs.
We envision a future in which every person who needs and wants an assistance dog can have one.
Assistance dogs provide the gifts of freedom, independence, and peace of mind to our clients and their families. Our fully trained dogs, often adopted from local animal shelters, are provided to our clients who live with disabilities that involve mobility challenges, hearing loss or deafness, seizure disorders, autism, or diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness.
85 East 7th Place, Suite 105
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-431-5961 (V)
About: The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans is a Governor appointed Commission that advocates for communication access and equal opportunity with Minnesotans who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. We develop public policy solutions to barriers faced in education, health care, technology, access to public services and employment. We work across agencies, branches of state government and nonprofit organizations.
Identifies barriers to equal opportunity and develops public policy solutions
Lobbies for state legislation
Coordinates the collaborative initiatives of agency stakeholders and parents to improve educational outcomes for children/students from birth through age 21.
Empowers by building community capacity
Provides advocacy training, including an online course, “Making Your Case”
Organizes a Lobby Day at the Capitol every other year
2800 Rice St., Suite 154
St. Paul, MN 55113
Phone:Toll Free: (844) 222-0002
About: A statewide non-profit agency providing direct services to the deaf and hard of hearing communities including (in addition to those listed below): post-secondary tutoring, community education, and information/referral resources are available.
The Adult Education Program: Adult Basic Education (ABE), Computer Training, Citizenship Training, GED, and ESL programming
Contact: Sarah Hoggard, (V) 612-234-5371, (VP) 651-243-4709, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Deaf Domestic Violence Program
Stephanie Ritenour, VP: 651-829-9089, email@example.com
About: Services include: information and research sheets about Cued Speech; family, professional, national, and educational contacts; social events; Cued Speech transliterator certification information; Cued Speech workshops; annual newsletter; and Cued Speech retreat.
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 105
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-431-5940 (V ) Metro Area
651-964-1514 (VP) Metro Area
888-206-6513 (TTY) Metro Area
About: For the phone and addresses of DHHS Offices in other areas of the state, call the metro office or visit the website for the location of the DHHS Office nearest you.
DHHS provides information, resources, and empowerment opportunities to assist deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing Minnesotans and their families effectively access services in their communities. Five regional DHHS offices serve Minnesotans of any age who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, or deaf/blind, as well as parents and family members, public and private service providers, employers and businesses, and other interested individuals and the community at large. DHHS is part of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (see separate listing).
Services include: information and referral, direct client assistance, consultation, trainings, a technology lab, videotape/DVD loan program, and interpreter referral information. DHHS also operates a Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) Program that provides special telephone equipment at no cost to people who have a hearing loss, speech impairment, or physical disability that limits one’s ability to dial or hold a standard phone. See separate listing for TED in this directory.
A complete list of all Mental Health providers for deaf and hard of hearing individuals compiled by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services can be found on their website.
About: The Children, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) program serves Deaf/Blind children from birth through age 21.
Services include: development of an Individual Goal Activity plan that is implemented with the help of Interveners who meet with children and youth on a weekly basis. Programs and services are tailored to meet each individual’s goals and needs.
About: Deaf Minnesota is an electronic bulletin board for events relevant to the Deaf Community in the state of Minnesota. In addition, Deaf Minnesota is also a portal site to select cities across Minnesota for events, jobs, resources, and more.
About: Through our state and national networks, we provide families tools to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families, and serve as a trusted resource on health care.
What Does Family Voices of Minnesota Do?
Provides families information about community resources and supports
Connects families of children with special health care needs and disabilities with one another
Promotes patient and family-centered care including family and youth involvement in program and policy development, implementation and evaluation
Promotes cultural competence across all systems
Collaborates with other health and disability organizations and state agencies
3333 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: General inquiries: 612-861-1688 (V) Clinical intake: 612-767-7222 (V)
About: Fraser is a nationally renowned Minnesota nonprofit serving children and adults with special needs through comprehensive education, healthcare and housing services. Fraser is a leading provider of autism services in Minnesota.
One of the largest community resources of its kind, Fraser offers a lifelong spectrum of services:
comprehensive mental health services including individual and group therapy
rehabilitation services including physical, occupational, speech-language, and music therapy
child care and education for children with typical needs and special needs
housing for adults and children with developmental disabilities
workshops and seminars for parents, caregivers and professionals
About: We provide culturally affirmative psychological assessments to Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Deafblind children, ages 0-21, who live in Greater Minnesota (outside the 7 county metro area) & attend a school operated by the MN Department of Education
Psychologists travel to the child’s school or county offices to evaluate children. Travel costs are financed by grant funds. Medical insurance, educational third party billing, county funding & vocational rehabilitation funding options will be explored in order to cover the costs of psychological testing. In cases where the child does not have insurance or does not have adequate coverage, grant funds are available for financial assistance.
Referrals are welcome from the child (18 or older), parents, families, school staff, county social workers, legal guardians
About: Assistive products include a full line of amplified phones, captioned phones, clocks with loud alarm or vibration alert, signaling systems, and small/large area listening systems. They are a master distributor of the most popular products in this industry and have been providing products to deaf and hard of hearing people since 1982.
Services include: Showroom/store and online catalogs for Equipment and Sign Language Materials. The Sign Language catalog includes these categories: Learning Sign Language, Children's Sign Language, Teacher Resources & Curriculums, Interpreting, Deaf Culture & History, Hearing Loss Resources, and much more. New products are continually being added to the website. Free catalogs available.
Email: Kristen.L.Swan@healthpartners.com (non secure; clients are encouraged to use on-line services for email through the HealthPartners portal system)
About: The staff has offices at Regions Hospital, Maplewood Behavioral Health, and Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Health Center.
Services include: Individual, couple and family psychotherapy services to deaf, deaf blind, hard of hearing, cochlear implant candidates/recipients, and newly deafened people of all ages; community education and training, and consultation with other providers. Psychologists are available to work with hearing parents of deaf and hard of hearing children regarding a range of issues, including issues related to the child’s hearing loss.
About: HLAA TC holds meetings each month (except June, July and Aug.) on the 3rd Sat. of the month. Our meetings run from 9:30 AM to Noon, in the 2nd floor board room at Courage Center. See signs on the wall for directions to the meeting room. The Courage Center is located at 3915 Golden Valley Road in Golden Valley, MN 55422.
About: Help Me Grow has many resources about the development of young children for parents and professionals. These resources include information on developmental milestones, YouTube videos, caregiver strategies to support development, screening and evaluation, and how to talk about developmental concerns.
About: It is a valuable source of information about sign language interpreters, how to use them, and how to find them.
Services include: locating a sign language interpreter in Minnesota, locating an interpreter for an emergency, information about how to work with a sign language interpreter, information about services for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf/blind individuals, and information about federal and state laws related to communication access and interpreters.
About: Merriam Park Branch Library maintains a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Collection of books and DVDs for children and adults related to such issues as American Sign Language, hearing loss, and Deaf heritage. The library also collaborates with organizations to improve library access for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Library materials are available to anyone with a current library card from a public library in Minnesota, and may also be requested through interlibrary loan through your local library. An online catalog lists the materials in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Collection by title, author, and subject.
About: The Minnesota Academy of Audiology is committed to developing and supporting audiologists. This is accomplished through leadership in legislative advocacy, best practices, high ethical standards and education of members, healthcare professionals and the public.
MAA is primarily a professional organization for audiologists. We provide referral information to individuals and families who need assistance with hearing and balance issues. Other outreach services include low-cost hearing screenings at area health fairs, participation in high school career fairs, and scholarships for high school seniors pursuing post-secondary education.
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113-4266
Phone: (507) 412-5214 (VP)
About: MN Department of Education Early Learning Services
Help Me Grow” Online Referral (See MNH&V online directory for links)
“Help Me Grow” Toll-Free Information and Referral Telephone Line: 1-866-693-GROW (4769)
Infant and Toddler Intervention Services (Birth through Two years of age) and Preschool Special Education (Three to Five years of age)
Minnesota’s Infant and Toddler Intervention system is a partnership between the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services and families with young children, ages birth to two. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) oversees this system. Families who have an infant or toddler with developmental delays, disabilities, or certain health conditions work together with local service providers to access services and resources to help their child grow and develop. These services are provided under federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Part C of IDEA requires that eligible infants and toddlers and their families have access to services based upon their individual needs. For children ages birth through two years of age, Infant and Toddler Intervention Services are provided to eligible children and their families through Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP). Under three years of age, a child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing is eligible for services with a certain level of diagnosed permanent hearing loss; the child does not need to show any developmental delays. Following an evaluation of the child’s development and discussion of the family’s needs and goals, each family’s IFSP is developed by parents/caregivers and early intervention professionals from a variety of different agencies and support organizations as appropriate to each child. In addition to ongoing developmental assessments, early intervention may include home visits by early intervention professionals, coordination of services from a variety of agencies, assistive technology, help with accessing county or health services, parent-to-parent support, information about local, state, and national resources—and a host of other family-focused services.
Preschool Special Education Services are provided to eligible children ages three to five years of age through their local public school districts. The types of educational services and settings provided will vary according to the individual learning needs of each child. Following an evaluation of the child’s development that determines if the child is eligible for special education services, an Individual Education Program (IEP) is written together with the family and frequently reviewed to support the child’s continued learning.
Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing may be eligible for special education support services in their local public school districts specific to their unique learning needs throughout their school years under IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (For more information, please see Special Education Services: Deaf Hard of Hearing using the link below.)
An interactive website developed by the Minnesota Department of Education http://MNParentsKnow.info provides a wealth of information for parents and the public, including topics specific to parent needs and concerns related to child development, learning and health. It also provides interactive tools that parents can use to find Minnesota-specific information and resources. For more information on programs, services and resources for “newborns,” children who are “0-2 years of age,” or “3-5 years of age” with special needs and their families, go to the appropriate age section and click on “Your Child with Special Needs.”
Minnesota Special Education Services (See MNH&V online directory for links)
Special Education Services: Deaf and Hard of Hearing (See MNH&V online directory for links)
332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200
St. Paul, MN 55101-1352
Phone: 651-318-0805 Fax: 651-642-0662
About: Parents and families of transition aged youth can find a variety of school and work support and services (e.g. assessment, counseling, career planning, post-secondary training, assistive technology, job placement), delivered through a team of Rehabilitation Counselors serving consumers who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing at various locations.
About: Detection of hearing loss as early as possible gives families a chance to help maximize their children’s developmental potential. Minnesota state law mandates newborn hearing screening. Hospitals are required to screen babies’ hearing before discharge. The hospitals and providers who complete outpatient hearing rescreening or audiologic assessment are also obligated to report the results to the Newborn Screening Program, the infant’s clinic, and the parents.
Newborn hearing screening is the first part of a comprehensive EHDI program at the Minnesota Department of Health. The Newborn Screening program provides follow-up to ensure that every baby who does not pass hearing screening has timely and appropriate follow-up and audiologic evaluation according to best practice standards. Once identification of hearing loss is confirmed, the Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHN) program assures that families have access to appropriate and timely intervention, statewide services, and resources. We contract with Minnesota Hands & Voices to provide parent to parent support to families of children newly identified with hearing loss.
Phone: DHS Info desk: 651-431-2000 Toll Free: 800-627-3529 (MN Relay)
About: Services include: a range of health care, home, and community-based services for individuals, and families meeting income guidelines.
DHS also has several other programs specifically designed for Minnesotans who are deaf or hard of hearing. See separate listings for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, the Telephone Equipment Distribution Program, and the Minnesota Commission Serving Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans.
About: Services include: free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities on legal issues such as abuse and neglect, right violations, habilitation services, special education, access to public services, public accommodation, case management, vocational rehabilitation services, and assistive technology.
About: These projects are state-wide (Metro and Greater/Rural-MN). Families who have a child who is deaf/hard-of-hearing that has or has not been referred to their local early intervention program and have questions about children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing or educational audiological services can contact their regional low incidence facilitator to find out contact information regarding local educational consultants for deaf/hard-of-hearing children (birth – age 21).
About: Services include: Provide state/local forums and continuing education opportunities to ensure growth and development of the interpreting profession. Provides information about state interpreting standard practices and acts as platform for community announcements. Collaborates to support relevant legislative action.
About: A specially trained communications assistant (CA) facilitates the telephone conversation between a person with a hearing or speech disability and other individuals. Calls can be made to anywhere in the world (long distance charges apply), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All calls are completely confidential.
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113-4266
Phone: 507-412-5214 (VP)
About: The center is part of the Minnesota Department of Education. Services include: technical assistance, workshops, special events, and an advisory committee all focused on improving services for DHH children 0-21.
1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252
St. Paul, MN 55114
Phone: 651-290-6292 (V)
About: The organization promotes prevention, assessment, and treatment of communication disorders and the study of normal and disordered human communication. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists have completed graduate degrees and may be licensed by the State of Minnesota. The Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Association is a recognized state association from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Services include: consumer referrals, legislative representation, continuing education, networking, newsletter, professional placement, and membership for professionals.
About: Trained Parent Guides are located in six regions around Greater Minnesota, as well as staff located in the Metro area to continue to assist families and offer support, information, and referral to families. We also have culturally-specific Parent Guides to assist parents who are Deaf, from NE African, SE Asian and Spanish-speaking communities. All of our Parent Guides are themselves, parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. They are passionate about supporting families with whatever personal choices they make regarding their child who is deaf or hard of hearing. Parents contacting MN Hands & Voices can obtain information about a wide variety of topics such as American Sign Language, educational options, Cued Speech, parenting, assistive technology, and auditory training.
Services include: information and referral, FOCUS newsletter, educational workshops, networking opportunities, and connections to other parents with children who are deaf and hard of hearing. The program's website has many sections that can assist families in better understanding key issues and options. On on-line version of the Resource Directory is available at www.mnhandsandvoices.org. MN Hands & Voices is a chapter of the Hands & Voices HQ organization: www.handsandvoices.org.
About: PACER operates on the principles of parents helping parents, supporting families, promoting a safe environment for all children, and working in collaboration with others.
PACER’s mission is to “expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children, youth, and young adults with all disabilities and their families, so each person can reach his or her highest potential.
Services include: staff support to answer questions and offer one-on-one help, publications, puppet programs for elementary students, workshops for parents and professionals, legislative information, and web-based resources. Programs cover a wide variety of topics such as early childhood, bullying prevention, transition planning, multicultural services, health, and assistive technology.
Services include: American Sign Language classes levels one through five; classes related to specific aspects of ASL and Deaf culture; and sign interpreter/transliterator preparation. Classes are available day and evening, offering convenient and affordable options for parents and adult family members seeking ASL instruction.
About: The National BDA was established in the United States and Minnesota BDA was founded in 1997. It has “an active and motivated membership who meets monthly in the public library across from Thompson Hall.”
Services include: advocacy, membership, and social activities.
About: To see if you qualify for the program, call the number listed above and they will send you an application. TED Program regional specialists assist qualified individuals in getting the equipment they need. They also provide free presentations to agencies. The TED program is operated through the regional offices of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Division. See separate listings for more information about DHHS and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The equipment is on long-term loan from the State of Minnesota. Telephone equipment loaned out include amplified corded and cordless phone, CapTel phones (a telephone that uses a speech recognition software to provide captioning to the user), light flashing ring signalers, amplified telephones, loud ringers, hands-free speaker phones, TTYs/TDDs, large visual display TTYs, and Braille phones.
About: A sliding fee scale is available for families with documented financial need.
Services include: hearing evaluations, hearing aid/assistive listening device evaluation and dispensing, individual speech and language assessment and therapy, auditory therapy, parent discussion, and support groups.
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time.
About: Mental Health Case Management provides services enabling children and adults with mental health concerns to remain at home. Case Managers help coordinate services such as: mental health, social, education, health, vocational, recreation, volunteer, advocacy, transportation, and legal.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Senior Manager of Clinical Services)
About: These services may take place in the clinic office, school or home setting and are individualized to meet the unique needs of each child and their family. Our team of professionals who work with deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing children are fluent in sign language and knowledgeable about Deaf Culture. Treatment is designed with an understanding of the impact hearing loss has on social, emotional, and cognitive development and is provided in the language/communication mode that is most comfortable for the child and family.
The Clinics’ multidisciplinary team of professional staff focus on helping children, adolescents and their families’ cope with and manage emotional/behavior problems and disturbances, depression, anxiety, ADHD, parent/child conflict, grief and loss issues, attachment issues, trauma etc. In addition, our team has specialized expertise to meet the mental health needs of children and adolescents who are living in foster care, returning home from out-of-home placement, as well as culturally and language specific services for those who are deaf/hard of hearing, deaf blind or people with vision loss.
Professional mental health services include psychiatric assessment, evaluation and services; medication management; psychological assessment and psychological testing; individual psychotherapy; family psychotherapy; group psychotherapy; group counseling; and family and parent education.
Congratulations to this year’s Minnesota Hands & Voices (MNH&V) High Five Award recipients, from the metro area; Diana Chabot and Kitri Larson Kyllo, and from greater Minnesota, Pete Billodeau. The MNH&V High Five Award recipients were nominat…[more]
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Minnesota Department of Health
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) refers to the practice of screening every newborn for hearing loss prior to hospital discharge. Infants not passing the screening receive diagnostic evaluation before three months of age and, when necessary, are enrolled in early intervention programs by six months of age. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) laws or voluntary compliance programs that screen hearing.