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?
Download the Service Fund
(Word, 20 KB)
If you need assistance filling out the form, please contact
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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are provided for your information and for the benefit of the
general public. The Department of Health Services does not
testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information
provided on externally linked pages.
October 16, 2014