Services for the deaf and hard of hearing
DRS and the West Virginia Department of Education are participating in the Engage for Change initiative to increase access to postsecondary opportunities for people who are deaf, which is funded through the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC).
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
More resources for the deaf and hard of hearing
We have a separate listing of other resources that we think you will find helpful.
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:
WV State Office Building
416 Adams Street – Suite 240
Fairmont, WV 26554
Serving the counties of Brooke, Doddridge, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler, Wetzel, Wirt and Wood:
Wheeling District Office
1324 Chapline Street, Suite 200
Wheeling, WV 26003
304-238-1092, ext. 51308
Serving the counties of Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers and Webster:
Princeton Branch Office
195 Davis St.
Princeton, WV 24739
Serving the counties of Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, McDowell, Wayne and Wyoming:
Logan Branch Office
130 Stratton St, Suite 231
Logan, WV 25601
Serving the counties of Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton:
151 Robert. C. Byrd Industrial Park Road, Suite 3
Moorefield, WV 26836
304-538-2701, ext. 51072
Program Specialist for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services
153 W. Main St., Suite F
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Sensory Impairment Programs Supervisor
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:
- 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.
- 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.