To make independent living a reality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people (ages 14 and up), we offer advocacy, skills training, peer counseling, information, and referrals to help them make informed decisions about their lives.
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Services (DHILS) department offers a range of services to Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened adults in Greater Boston and in the Southeast, Northeast, and Greater New Bedford/Fall River regions, and through CORD (Cape Organization for the Rights of the Disabled) for Cape Cod and the Islands, and NILP (Northeast Independent Living Program) for the Merrimack Valley.
You can receive information and advocacy for a wide range of needs, including (but not limited to):
• understanding and accessing legal aid, navigating the legal process for immigration and other issues;
• working through the immigration process;
• requesting reasonable accommodations (communication access, home assistive technology, hearing aids, etc.);
• finding appropriate medical care and social services, including public assistance;
• support with health insurance enrollment and understanding your policy;
• support with housing;
• support for parents with schools and children's services, including the Dept. of Children and Families;
• emergency preparedness;
• skills development workshops for adults and youth transitioning to adulthood and independence, including understanding and completing forms and letters and • development of basic English and money management skills; and
• navigating and using public transportation.
Independent Living Services for Seniors
If you are a Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, or Late-Deafened older adult (age 60 or older) living in the City of Boston, or a family member of an older adult with hearing loss, DEAF, Inc.'s Senior Independent Living Program may be able to answer your questions about how to be safe at home with hearing loss. We can help you ensure your safety and independence. DEAF, Inc.'s Senior IL can help you with questions about health, finances, and other issues, including finding equipment to cope with hearing loss. Please visit our Senior IL page to learn more.
Information and Supported Referrals
At DEAF, Inc.'s IL program, you and your family, friends or service providers can get answers to a wide variety of questions. We can provide information and supported referrals to other programs that can address your need. DEAF, Inc. also offers technical assistance and training for other providers (including medical professionals and local human service agencies) who want to improve accessibility of their services for Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened people. For links to resources and information about major programs and services serving the Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened community, including independent living services, please visit our Resources page.
If you would like to refer yourself or someone else for Independent Living services, please go to our Service Referral page.