The Illinois Division of Mental Health requires their funded community agencies to provide reasonable accommodations to consumers with hearing loss*. This includes communication accessibility.
Additionally, Sections I and II of the IDHS Community Services Agreement references its purpose as to "improve access to culturally competent programs, services, and activities for persons who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf… by ensuring language access by providing language assistance services, including interpreter services at no cost to each customer at key points of contact, in a timely manner."
Reasonable accommodations can include an ASL and/or deaf interpreters; tactile signing; printed materials in large-print; FM system or personal amplifier; Communication Access RealTime Translation (CART), etc.
Need to hire a licensed sign language interpreter?
For mental health settings, sign language interpreters who are licensed at the Master's and Advanced levels are to be hired due to the complexity of the assignments.
Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission Statewide Interpreter Registry:
There are several community mental health providers who are certified to provide mental health services to people with hearing loss. These services are provided directly from a mental health professional that is culturally competent.
Chicago Read Mental Health Center, one of the Division's state psychiatric hospitals, is fully accessible to serving adults who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or DeafBlind.
As with all mental health services, an individualized approach is best. Technical assistance and support is available to ensure that services are accessible to people with hearing loss.
Contact the office of DMH Statewide Coordinator for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind for more information:
901 Southwind Road
Springfield, IL 62703
217-303-5807 Video Phone
IDHS/DMH Brochure: Mental Health Services for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind, and Late-Deafened
DMH Deaf HH Brochure - English (pdf)
DMH Deaf HH Brochure - Spanish (pdf)
Alternative format available, upon request.
*NOTE: In the interest of brevity, the terms deaf and/or hard of hearing and hearing loss, as used on this webpage, refer to all categories of hearing loss: Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, and DeafBlind.