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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Blind

Services for Those with Vision & Hearing Loss

Deaf-Blind Services

What are Deaf-Blind Services?

If you or someone you love is living with hearing and vision loss, our specialists are available to assess your needs at home and in the work place. Some of the common problems experienced by individuals with hearing and vision loss include:

  • The inability to communicate with others
  • The inability to hear the doorbell ring
  • The inability to hear the phone ring
  • The inability to understand speech over the phone
  • The inability to listen to the television without disturbing other family members
  • The inability to hear in small groups
  • The inability to hear at church
  • The inability to understand instructions at work
  • The inability to retrieve voice mail

If you have hearing and vision loss, our Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living Programs can improve your job prospects and quality of life.

Specialized Training

If you have combined vision and hearing loss, your needs are unique. Specialized training can be provided in the following areas:

  • Adaptive technology
  • Low vision aids
  • Amplified and tactile devices
  • Braille
  • Communication Skills
  • Safe Travel
  • Training required to get or keep a Job

Job Placement

If vision and hearing loss has prevented you from finding or keeping a job, services provided through a Vocational Rehabilitation Services might be of assistance. A wide range of services are available. The services that you receive are based on your individual needs. All services are aimed toward reaching your job goal.

Adaptive Technology

Assistance may be available to purchase adaptive technology that will aid you in living more independently, participating in training, or working. We can help you identify the type of equipment that will best meet the needs. Your counselor will assist you. See our Technology webpage.

Hearing Aids and Assistive Listening Devices

Assistance may be available to you to purchase hearing aids and other assistive listening devices as part of your independent living or vocational rehabilitation plan.

Rehabilitation Center Program

Our Rehabilitation Center for the Blind in Raleigh provides specialized services in a residential setting to people with hearing and vision loss. The main goal of the program is to prepare you for work. The Center has a variety of adaptive equipment in the classrooms and dorms. Some staff have sign language skills and contract interpreters are available when needed. The program varies in length depending on your individual training needs and goals.

How to Apply

Referrals are made directly to the Vocational Rehabilitation or Independent Living programs and then to one of the five Deaf-Blind Specialists. The Deaf-Blind Specialist contacts the referral and an assessment is scheduled in the home. During the assessment, problems are identified and a report with recommendation is sent back to the Counselor for implementation. All services provided by the Specialist are designed to allow recipients to achieve their maximum potential whether through finding suitable employment or maintaining independence in the home. The Deaf-Blind Specialists will assist in the areas of advocacy, consultation, education, assessment, technical support, service coordination, training, job development and more.

Contact DSB

For more information on services to individuals with hearing and vision loss, please contact the District Office nearest you. Call 1 (866) 222-1546. Spanish speakers call 1 (800) 662-7030.


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