Services for the deaf and hard of hearing
The Division of Rehabilitation Services offers specialized programs and services that help West Virginia citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing to reach their employment goals. DRS can provide:
- Assistive Devices
- Audiological Evaluations & Assessments
- Telecommunications Devices
- Interpreter Services
- Vocational Counseling & Guidance
- Vocational Evaluations & Training
- Hearing Aids & Assistive Listening Devices
- Life Skills • Work Adjustment • Job Coaching • Direct Placement
All DRS Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf have specialized training needed to meet the unique employment needs of people who have hearing loss. These counselors for the deaf understand deaf culture, as well as the needs of those who have lost their hearing later in life. These counselors can talk with you about how to go to work, including how to:
- Find out about accommodations you will need to attend school or training
- Interview for a job
- Ask an employer for reasonable accommodations
Offices near you
Rehabilitation counselors for the deaf are available at these DRS offices:
Serving the counties of Boone, Calhoun, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Mason, Putnam and Roane:
115 Liberty Square
Hurricane, WV 25526
Serving the counties of Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker and Upshur:
107 Cambridge Place
Bridgeport, WV 26330
Video Phone: 304-608-3710
Serving the counties of Brooke, Doddridge, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler, Wetzel, Wirt and Wood:
Wheeling District Office
Central Union Building
40 14th Street, Suite 102
Wheeling, WV 26003
Serving the counties of Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers and Webster:
Beckley Branch Office
800 New River Town Center
Beckley, WV 25801
Video Phone: 304-944-0290
Serving the counties of Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, McDowell, Wayne and Wyoming:
Logan Branch Office
216 Dingess Street
Logan, WV 25601
Serving the counties of Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton:
Martinsburg District Office
489 Mid Atlantic Parkway, Suite 2
Martinsburg, WV 25404
Video Phone: 304-707-3039
If you are eligible for DRS services and you need a hearing aid to become employed or to stay independent in your home or community, your DRS counselor will talk with you about the best way to obtain a hearing aid.
If you are not eligible for DRS services (or if working is not your goal), you can contact these places to find out more about obtaining low-cost or no-cost hearing services:
- The West Virginia Children’s Hearing Services Project can provide hearing aid services and supplies for children from birth to 18 years who lack insurance coverage and/or credible coverage for this benefit. Not eligible are children who have Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance, or commercial coverage that pays at least the Medicaid rate.
- Kids First provides hearing aids and supplies for hearing-impaired children ages 3, 4, 5 or 6 who do not have insurance that covers this benefit.
- Hear Now is a national non-profit program committed to assisting those permanently residing in the U.S. who are deaf or hard of hearing and have no other resources to acquire hearing aids.
- Local civic groups sometimes sponsor projects to assist people with vision and hearing loss. In Kanawha County and all adjacent counties, for example, the Quota Club has recycled and repaired used hearing aids for more than 25 years, giving them to people in need. For information about their program, write:
Quota Club International, Inc.
P.O. Box 1055
Charleston, WV 25324
Nationwide, the Foundation for Sight and Sound, through its Help America Hear Program (HAH), provides hearing aids for men, women, and children with limited financial resources.
Six West Virginia centers for independent living offer referral services and can sometimes arrange to purchase hearing aids for eligible individuals.
Working through your rehabilitation counselor, the Division can arrange for an interpreter to assist you.
DRS is not a primary funding source for post-secondary education, but may assist with certain costs after the student has applied for scholarships and grants.
The Social Security Administration has several incentive programs to help people who are receiving Social Security benefits go to work while not immediately affecting benefits. Learn more here.
More resources for the deaf and hard of hearing
We have a separate listing of other resources that we think you will find helpful.