New Behavioral Health Initiative
The Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) has received funding from the Department of Health Services (DHS) to improve access, quality, and outcomes of behavioral health care services to people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deaf-Blind. ODHH has designed the Behavioral Health Initiative with the objective of creating a sustainable website housing various resources for the State of Wisconsin. Learn more about this initiative.
Connect with ODHH
ODHH Community Connect Meetings
Join staff from ODHH and people from the Deaf and hard of hearing community from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month for ODHH Community Connect.
These informal meetings will be hosted by ODHH to answer questions and listen to the community's concerns and needs. Some months will also include guest speakers. Interpreters and real-time captioning will be provided.
The next ODHH Community Connect meeting is Thursday, December 7, 2023. View the GovDelivery announcement for more information.
Video from ODHH Director, Christopher Rawlings
In this video, Christopher introduces himself and invites you to connect with him and other ODHH staff to learn more about the office and to share your ideas and suggestions.
COVID-19 impact on ODHH services
To view general COVID-19 information in ASL, please see the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website.
COVID-19 Communication with Deaf and Hard of Hearing
COVID-19 Communication Card
ODHH offers a COVID-19 communication card, P-02629 for those who are Deaf and hard of hearing. This card is a tool to help bridge communication between medical personnel and people who are Deaf or hard of hearing when discussing COVID-19. If you wish to obtain a copy of the communication card, please contact Caroline Ludka by email or phone at 262-565-6349.
Health departments, testing sites, clinics, and other providers can view this fact sheet to become more comfortable Interacting with Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, P-02764, during COVID-19-related operations.
Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a group of nine people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind and hearing (such as a parent of a Deaf child, teacher of the Deaf, or interpreter) appointed by the Governor to advise him, the Department of Health Services and ODHH about issues and concerns affecting over 500,000 people in Wisconsin who are Deaf, hard of hearing and/or Deaf-Blind.
Visor card for drivers who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
ODHH offers a visor card for drivers who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, P-02027, (PDF) to better communicate with law enforcement during traffic stops.
Services we provide
- Benefits - Need help with Social Security, Medicare or others?
- Communication Access - Tips for everyone on communication.
- Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) - This service is gaining popularity for communication access.
- Rights and Laws - A listing of rights, laws and links to help guide you to the right place to file a complaint.
- Deaf-Blind Resources - Several links are included to help you to find information.
- Demographic Reports - Over the years, various large-scale research organizations (including the Census Bureau) have used survey questions to find out how many people identify themselves as having health problems, functional limitations, impairments or disabilities.
- Hearing Aids/Cochlear Implant - Information about hearing aids, cochlear implant, hearing health and hearing loss is presented.
- Training and Presentation Requests - Free trainings and presentations on a variety of topics including: hearing loss, accessibility, cultural sensitivity, telecommunications, and assistive technology devices, touching on rights and laws.
- Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services (SUD/MH) Information - A resource page has been developed to find an appropriate agency, program, or office in your area.
- Service Fund - Pays for communication access (sign language interpreters, CART, or SSP's) services for Deaf, Deaf-Blind and hard of hearing persons in certain situations not covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- Sign Language Interpreting - Need to know how to schedule an interpreter or who is the right person?
- Technology Accommodations - A range of technology information is available.
- Telecommunications Assistance Program - TAP provides funds to people who meet income and hearing loss eligibility criteria as a means to assist in the purchase of specialized telecommunication devices, such as a TTY.