FY17 Advocacy Priorities

Announcing DEAF, Inc.'s FY 17 Advocacy Priorities for Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened Community

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing population has increased to one in every five people, as a result of aging, noise-induced hearing loss, almost 15 years of continuous war and traumatic injury. The need for services for this community is greater than ever.

MCDHH Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Services (DHILS) provides essential services in American Sign Language (ASL), the language of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in need of economic stabilization; skills development; housing; nutrition assistance; insurance benefits; collaborative case management services with MCB, MRC, DCF, MCDHH; and much more.Funding for MCDHH has been decreasing consistently. H2 budget shows another cut of $233,628. Cutting MCDHH funding again will have a significant adverse impact, including:

  • • Increased poverty, isolation, communication barriers
  • • Increased risk of financial instability, homelessness, and lapse in health insurance
  • • Loss of support services, peer supports, and peer education
  • • Increased wait times for consumer appointments; inability to serve same number of people

Increase funding by $467,212 for Line Item 4125-0100 to support DEAF, Inc. DHILS

MCB DeafBlind Community Access Network (DBCAN) trains “Providers” and matches them with DeafBlind adults. DBCAN enables DeafBlind adults to maintain and increase their independence and thereby their health and safety. Providers support DeafBlind adults, enabling them to complete their education, fulfill and maintain employment, and participate in society.

Increase funding by $71,000 in Line Item 4110-1000 for DBCAN – Less will result in:

  • • Increased risks for chronic or life threatening conditions that can lead to hospitalizations and institutional placements, resulting in even greater costs to the Commonwealth
  • • Increased risks for adverse mental health conditions, particularly depression
  • • Decreased opportunities for employment - DBCAN’s Provider services employs sighted Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults, offering a pathway to economic self-sufficiency

Project HOPE (Health Outreach Prevention and Education) provides health literacy and HIV/AIDS medical case management in ASL to prevent infections and improve health outcomes.

Increase funding by $83,325 and earmark for Deaf and Hard of Hearing HIV Medical Case Management in Line Item 4512-0103 – Current fund mainly supports staffing only:

  • • Increased risks of serious health complications related to HIV/AIDS from lack of access to managing chronic conditions, nutrition information, and physical exercise
  • • Increased safety risks for Deaf emergency room and hospital patients without medical case management, who need 1:1 health education, support and advocacy


Click here to download a PDF of the above priorities.

For more Information about how DEAF, Inc. services support people in Your District, contact Sharon Applegate or 617-505-4823 (VP); 617-254-4041 (TTY/Voice).

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