As of April 25, 2014, all funds available under the Service Fund have been
used. At this time, the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will not be able
to approve any requests for Service Fund monies to cover the costs of
Communication Access Service Providers (interpreters and/or CART providers)
until the next fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2014.
The Service Fund provides financial assistance for communication access
services in situations not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Situations not covered by either of
the above mentioned mandates are those where the organization or entity, whether
it be for or non-profit, can provide just cause that provision of a
communication access accommodation would cause them an “undue hardship”. In such
a situation the Service Fund may be able to cover the expense of providing the
Examples of situations that the Service Fund may cover but not limited to:
- emergency or immediate medical or mental health situations;
- support groups (examples: 12-step, cancer survivors, single parent
- job-related situations for individuals who do not receive DVR services;
- funerals and memorial services;
- meetings involving housing and shelter matters;
- services, meetings or other events sponsored by organizations or
agencies that do not receive federal funds; and
- meetings that involve developing new programs, agencies, or
organizations to promote awareness of issues relating to deaf, deaf-blind or
hard of hearing persons.
How do I apply for the Service Fund?
To request financial assistance through the Service Fund, please submit a
request in writing on your agency letterhead. The following information should
be included with your request:
- Your name;
- Your agency/organization name, any affiliation with a parent
organization, contact information, and the service you provide;
- Reason you are requesting financial assistance and the financial
structure of your organization (i.e. justification of an undue hardship);
- Brief description of service you are providing for the deaf or hard of
- Date, time, location, and any other information related to the service
being provided; and
- The type of service you are requesting (for example, 2 interpreters for
8 hours etc.) and a cost estimate for the services.
Where do I send my request?
E-mail or fax your request to:
Fax: (608) 264-9899
For requests in writing, please send to:
Department of Health Services
Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
c/o Service Fund
7851, Rm 558
Service Fund Requirements
Requests must be received by ODHH a minimum of two weeks before the scheduled
event except in the case of an emergency. It is not considered an emergency if
you forgot to make your request or did not know about the service fund.
Interpreters scheduled for situations receiving assistance through the
Service Fund must be either Nationally Certified or a WITA level I1/T1 or I2/T2.
Situations lasting 2 hours or more will require a team of 2 interpreters.
How will I know if my request will be covered by the Service Fund?
A decision will be based on the information in your letter and your agency’s
responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other
applicable laws. If more information is needed to make a decision, then the
office will contact the requestor. When a decision has been made, a letter will
be sent explaining the Office’s decision and how you should proceed.
The Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
encourages organizations to budget for reasonable accommodation
requests. Receiving Service Fund in one instance does not
guarantee receiving it in a similar instance in the future.
What if it is an emergency?
Requests for Service Fund in situations of emergencies or funerals/memorial
services can be made to a Regional Coordinator
in your area.
DHS 77: Service Fund for People Who Are Deaf, Deaf-Blind
or Hard of Hearing (exit DHS).
Agencies in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Freelance Interpreter
Communication Access Realtime
Translation (CART) Provider
|** Undue Hardship:
The ADA defines an undue hardship as an action or accommodation
that is excessively costly, extensive, substantial or
disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation
of a business, organization or entity.
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August 01, 2014