Resources for the deaf and hard of hearing

Deaf Education

educator
  • PEPnet — The goal of PEPNet is to assist U.S. colleges and universities to attract and effectively serve individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind provide students a specialized education environment where their unique skills are recognized and valued, they are given opportunities to experience success, and they feel part of a community in which they are encouraged to be lifelong learners.
  • Gallaudet University is a bilingual, diverse multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English.
  • National Technical Institute for the Deaf is the world's first and largest technological college for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is one of nine colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology, a privately endowed coeducational university that is student-centered and career-focused.

Community Resources

For families

a family
  • The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education and Support collection was donated to the West Virginia Library Commission by the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services, the state’s primary resource for vocational rehabilitation, after the 2009 closure of the WVDRS Rehabilitation Center in Institute, WV. Throughout the years, the library at the Rehabilitation Center had invested significant money in these resources.

    Our hope is that these materials can continue to benefit West Virginia citizens who want to know more about hearing impairment and deafness. You may download a list of the resources in this collection here. A major focus of this print and video recording collection is building sign-language skills for interpreters and the deaf and hard of hearing. Individuals may locate items from the collection by searching the Library Commission online catalog at http://voyweb.lib.wv.us.

    The focus of this print and video recording collection is building sign-language skills for interpreters and the deaf and hard of hearing. Individuals may locate items from the collection by searching the Library Commission online catalog at http://voyweb.lib.wv.us. Agencies or libraries that may need the materials for an extended period can request a deposit collection. These deposit collections are checked out  for 60-, 90-, or 120-days and shipped directly to the agency or library.

    The Library offers interlibrary loan services for state employees when needed items are not available from the collection.   Citizens are asked to visit their local public library for this service. Use the library locator map to find the closest public library. State Library Services has reciprocal agreements with many other libraries. To request items from other libraries, use ILLiad. This service can be used for book and articles requests. Books are usually received in 4-7 days and articles, delivered electronically to the users’ ILLiad account, usually take 1-5 days.

    State employees on the Capitol Complex may request items delivered to their offices. Use the courier delivery form  to request these items.  For employees not located on the Complex, inter-departmental mail will be used. 

    Anyone in the state can get a library card with the Library Commission by completing the form or emailing your name, address, and phone number to wvlcref@wv.gov. You will receive your card in 4 to 7 business days by mail.

  • West Virginia Hands & Voices is affiliated with the international non-profit parent-driven organization dedicated to supporting families and their children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • The West Virginia Department of Education maintains an excellent list of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources that addresses the varied needs of educators, interpreters and families.
  • Ski*Hi is a home-based preschool/parent education program for deaf and hard of hearing children. The goal of Ski*Hi is to use a child’s natural environment to improve and increase the child’s language and communications skills. The program also focuses on developing and improving auditory and speech skills. Download the Ski*Hi Preschool Program brochure for information about the program and how to apply.

For individuals

a person
  • The West Virginia Association of the Deaf (WVAD) is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization which strives to promote the quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in West Virginia. It is supported by membership dues and contributions, and affiliated with the National Association for the Deaf.
  • West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WVCDHH) – The mission of the West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is to advocate for, and to develop and coordinate public policies, regulations, and programs to assure full and equal opportunity for, persons who are deaf and hard of hearing in West Virginia.

Communication

American Sign Language (ASL)

American Sign Language logo
  • Start ASL offers a variety of materials and resources, ranging from free online lessons to courses specially designed for students, teachers, homeschoolers, and organizations. Start ASL also offers an individualized tutoring program for those who prefer one-on-one learning.
  • Pierpont Community and Technical College's American Sign Language Communication Program in Fairmont, WV offers a one-year advanced skillset for students with no signing experience. Students in the program receive instruction in the skills and training required to meet the ASL proficiency standards required for admission to the school's Interpreter Training Program.
  • Mountwest Community & Technical College in Huntington, WV has ASL classes as part of its Deaf Studies program. This certificate program is designed to give students a foundation in American Sign Language (ASL) and acquaint them with basic issues of concern to the Deaf community. The program offers an opportunity for individuals already working in the Deaf community to increase their understanding of ASL and Deaf Culture, and to improve communication skills.
  • ASLPro.com features video dictionaries and quizzes, with free teacher accounts to create customized quizzes for reviewing and teaching. Great for student lab practice and homework assignments.
  • American Sign Language University is a sign language resource site for ASL students and teachers. Here you will find information and resources to help you learn ASL and improve your signing.
  • HANDSPEAK provides free sign language resources and extracurricular materials for language enthusiasts, ASL students and learners, instructors and teachers, interpreters, homeschoolers, parents and professionals who are interested in learning online and/or beyond classes for practice or self-study.

Other communication methods

text telephone
  • West Virginia Relay Services is a free public service for telephone communication between standard (voice) users and persons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, and speech-disabled, using text telephones (TTYs) or personal computers via the Internet.
  • Video Relay Service (VRS) is a form of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) that enables persons with hearing disabilities who use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with voice telephone users through video equipment, rather than through typed text.
  • CapTel® is short for Captioned Telephone. CapTel® users make calls just as if they were dialing a traditional phone. CapTel® uses voice recognition technology to display captions of the conversation on the telephone screen, allowing users to hear and read everything the person on the other line says.