Tools & Resources

General Resources

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing helps families, health care providers and education professionals understand childhood hearing loss and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Through advocacy, education, research and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive in mainstream society. (National) (Minnesota)

American Association of the DeafBlind
AADB is a national consumer organization of, by, and for deaf-blind Americans and their supporters. “Deaf-blind” includes all types and degrees of dual vision and hearing loss. AADB provides advocacy, trainings; workshops, and involvement with legislators, manufacturers, and other entities on behalf of deaf-blind people.

Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA)
The Association of Late-Deafened Adults is about communication and acceptance of every deafened individual. Some people lip-read, some sign, some use hearing aids, some have cochlear implants, and some need to have others write down what they are saying – and at ALDA all the above is okay! ALDAs official communication philosophy is “Whatever works!”

Communication Service for the Deaf – CSD of Minnesota
In addition to interpreting services, CSD offers nationally-accredited programs for the deaf, hard of hearing and general community. In Minnesota, programs include: Citizenship Training/Citizen Preparation, Deaf Adult Education (ABE), Domestic Violence Program, Health Education, Recreational Services, and Senior Deaf Adult Services.

Department of Human Services: Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD)
We provide information, resources and empowerment opportunities to assist deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing Minnesotans and their families to effectively access services in their communities. DHHS offers quality services to Minnesotans of any age who are: deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, and late deafened. As well as parents and family members of those with a hearing loss, Human Service providers, employers/businesses, schools and other interested individuals.

Minnesota Interpreter Referral
Consumers, interpreters, and service providers may access the DHHS Interpreter Referral Website for valuable information on: locating Minnesota interpreters; alternative communication options; working with interpreters; federal and state laws regarding interpreter access; and interpreter training programs.

DeafBlind Info
Minnesota’s Online Resource about Combined Vision and Hearing Loss.

DeafBlind Services Minnesota (DBSM) at Vision Loss Resources, Inc.
In partnering with DeafBlind Services Minnesota, LLC (DBSM), Vision Loss Resources provides assistance to deafblind individuals of all ages and all abilities to achieve their highest level of independence and self-sufficiency. Because each deafblind individual has unique needs, challenges and abilities, services are primarily provided on a one-to-one basis and customized to that person’s needs. DBSM provides services statewide to people who are deafblind.

Disability Minnesota
The purpose of this website is to provide a single entry point to over 100 Minnesota state agency programs, products, and services that are devoted to the range of disability issues. We also provide access to laws, statutes, and regulations in pertinent disability-related areas. (Minnesota) (National)

Empowerment Zone
Empowerment Zone has the largest public, plain text, organized collections on a wide variety of topics and resources. The motto of Empowerment Zone is “helping individuals and communities achieve self-actualization and full citizenship.”

Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
The Hearing Loss Association of America is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. HLAA provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss. And also brings consumers and policy makers together to learn about communication access at the national, state and local levels. (National) (Twin Cities Chapter)

Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC)
Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens was established in 1885 and is a non-profit, 501©4 organization. Its mission is to preserve, protect and promote American Sign Language and the political, educational, economic and social equality of Deaf Minnesotans.

Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR)
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is a neutral state agency that investigates charges of illegal discrimination, ensures that businesses seeking state contracts are in compliance with equal opportunity requirements, and strives to eliminate discrimination by educating Minnesotans about their rights and responsibilities under the state Human Rights Act.

Minnesota DeafBlind Association (MDBA)
As the only organization serving DeafBlind people in Minnesota that is governed by DeafBlind people, MDBA is a focal point of the Minnesota DeafBlind community. Established in 1979, MDBA is committed to providing information, education, advocacy and other services to persons who are DeafBlind, family members, parents of deafblind children, allies and professionals.

Minnesota Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (MRID)
The Minnesota Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf is a non-profit organization of professional interpreters, consumers, and interested persons. MRID was established and incorporated in 1971 with the support and encouragement of the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC). MRID is also a state affiliate chapter of the national organization, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

Minnesota Relay
Minnesota Relay is a program that provides access for people with hearing loss or a speech disability to communicate over the telephone.

Minnesota State Legislature
The legislative branch is responsible for the enactment and revision of laws. The United States Congress forms the laws at the national level, and the Minnesota Legislature is the lawmaking body for the State of Minnesota. Both Congress and the Minnesota Legislature consist of two bodies: a Senate and a House of Representatives.

National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans.

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)
RID is a national membership organization representing the professionals who facilitate communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear. Interpreters serve as professional communicators in a vast array of settings. RID’s function is to support our membership by providing the foundation needed to launch and sustain careers while ensuring quality service to the Deaf community.

Disability Employment Statistics
The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy updates the disability employment data monthly, providing citizens and policymakers with reliable and accurate information on a topic of importance to America’s workforce and economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey (CPS) is the U.S. government’s source for comprehensive monthly estimates on labor force participation, employment and unemployment.

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Courts & Legal Services

Disability Law Lowdown
The Disability Law Lowdown Project is a set of podcasts that provide up-to-date information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability laws. You can listen to the podcasts, or read the transcripts, right here on the website or you can download them to your MP3 player and listen at your convenience. The podcasts are presented in English and Spanish, as well as video podcasts in American Sign Language.

Midwest Center on the Law and the Deaf (MCLD)
Midwest Center on the Law and the Deaf provides training, legal information, referral and advocacy. Deaf or hard-of-hearing consumers in need of a lawyer are assisted in finding the right kind of lawyer in their home area. MCLD will make sure that the lawyer provides whatever is needed to communicate with the lawyer: sign language interpreters, oral interpreters, Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART), etc.

Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC)
As part of Legal Aid, the Minnesota Disability Law Center addresses the unique legal needs of Minnesotans with disabilities. MDLC provides free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities statewide on legal issues related to their disabilities.

NAD Law and Advocacy Center
The NAD Law and Advocacy Center educates, advocates, and litigates on behalf of and to empower deaf and hard of hearing people.

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American Annals of the Deaf
The American Annals of the Deaf is a professional journal dedicated to quality in education and related services for deaf or hard of hearing children and adults. First published in 1847, the Annals is the oldest and most widely read English-language journal dealing with deafness and the education of deaf persons.

CATIE Center
The CATIE Center is the Collaborative for the Advancement of Teaching Interpreting Excellence and is housed at St. Catherine University. The CATIE Center serves as a resource center to the region on interpreting, interpreter education, and self-advocacy by deaf consumers. They provide a variety of educational opportunities based on effective practices. Programs include ASL Immersion, ASL Deaf Mentor, Medical Interpreting, and NIC Preparation.

Delicious Bookmarks for Deaf Education
This delicious site was created as a collaborative effort to offer a variety of educational web resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education. You can search by tags (such as professionals, parents, teachers, modalities, curriculum, schoolplacements, etc.).

Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal integrating and coordinating basic and applied research relating to individuals who are deaf, including cultural, developmental, linguistic, and educational topics.

Leadership Institute
The Leadership Institute promotes healthy connections, trust, and mutual respect among members of interpreting organizations and systems, between leaders and members, and among members of the larger Deaf community. Their website offers live and recorded workshops in American Sign Language. RID CEUs are available for all live and recorded WebShops unless otherwise indicated. Earn ASL CEUs for your license on the web!

Minnesota DeafBlind Technical Assistance Project
The MN DeafBlind Technical Assistance Project provides FREE technical assistance to families, education teams and service providers of children birth through the year of their 21st birthday who have a combined vision and hearing loss or are highly suspect of having both vision and hearing loss.

Minnesota D/HH Licensure Website
This site, created by MNCDHH, provides comprehensive information about the D/HH teacher license in Minnesota, including a historical timeline, current requirements, the current licensure review process, process to receive a license, university program overview, research links, and frequently asked questions.

Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf provides residential and educational programs to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students. MSAD enrolled its first student in 1863 and takes pride in a rich tradition of serving the educational, social and emotional needs of deaf and hard of hearing students throughout the state of Minnesota.

Metro Deaf School
Metro Deaf School provides a bilingual and interdisciplinary curriculum for deaf and hard-of-hearing Pre-K – 12 students who communicate and learn using American Sign Language (ASL) and English.

Minnesota Department of Education: Special Education: Deaf & Hard of Hearing Resource Center
The Minnesota Resource Center, part of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), provides a library of materials in various media, classes and workshops for those seeking proficiency in sign language, interpreter resources and other services and resources for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Minnesota Resource Center is in Faribault, Minnesota, at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
NICHCY offers a wealth of information on disabilities and serves as a central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth, the law authorizing special education – IDEA, No Child Left Behind (as it relates to children with disabilities), and research-based information on effective educational practices. Website available in English and Spanish.

Northern Voices
Northern Voices is a center for young children with hearing loss that enables students to communicate through the use of spoken language, and helps families prepare their children to reach their full potential. Northern Voices serves young children with hearing loss, from infancy through preschool.

PEPNet 2
PEPNet 2 provides training, technical assistance and dissemination to secondary and postsecondary institutions to improve existing services or to establish new services for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Raising and Educating a Deaf Child
International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

University of Minnesota’s Education Resources for Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students
This website was designed as a resource for teachers serving students who are deaf or hard of hearing in a variety of educational settings. The goal is to equip teachers with the most appropriate tools and resources to maximize deaf and hard of hearing students’ academic growth. The website includes instructional strategies and activities in the areas of language development, reading, writing, assessment, and academic progress monitoring webinars.

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MNCDHH’s Minnesota Employment Task Force
In 2011 Alan Parnes, a former MNCDHH member, proposed that an Employment Task Force be established to address deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals’ unmet employment needs. The task force addressed the concerns in the areas of transition from school to work, job-seeking skills and placement services, maintaining employment, advancing in employment, and employment discrimination. The group set goals that were incorporated into the Commission’s strategic plan and work plan. Some have been accomplished, we are still working on others. If you have any issues or concerns about our state’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services or communication access to the state’s Workforce Centers, please contact Mary Hartnett at You can also contact Mary to set up a phone appointment to discuss your thoughts. Employment
This section of offers job seekers, employers, and employees practical information about finding a job, recruiting and hiring people with disabilities, and job accommodations. It also offers resources on starting a small business and laws and regulations that protect the employment rights of people with disabilities.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is the state’s principal economic development agency. DEED programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade; workforce development; and community development.

Minnesota Employment Center for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (MEC)
The mission of the Minnesota Employment Center for People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing is to provide comprehensive employment services which lead to competitive and supported employment positions consistent with individual career plans and goals. MEC’s customized employment and job placement services are offered in collaboration with Lifetrack Resources, Minnesota Rehabilitation Services and Rise, Inc.

Minnesota Employment Policy Initiative (MEPI)
The purpose of the Minnesota Employment Policy Initiative is to develop leadership and dialogue facilitation around disability and employment policy that will result in the increased employment of Minnesotans with disabilities in the competitive labor force. MEPI is working with numerous stakeholder partners to align policies, services and practices to increase competitive employment of people with disabilities and meet Minnesota’s workforce needs. In spring 2011, MEPI posted policy briefs on what it will take to double the employment of Minnesotans with disabilities by 2015.
Policy Brief on Employment of Minnesotans Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (2011) – Click here for PDF / Click here for Word
Policy Brief on Employment of Minnesotans Who Are DeafBlind (2011) – Click here for PDF / Click here for Word

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Family Resources

American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC)
American Society for Deaf Children was founded in 1967 as a parent-helping-parent network. ASDC is a national non-profit organization that supports and educates families of deaf and hard of hearing children and advocates for high quality programs and services.

Minnesota Hands & Voices
Minnesota Hands & Voices is the first point of contact for families when their child has been identified with a hearing loss through the Minnesota Department of Health’s Newborn Hearing Screening Follow-up Unit. Minnesota Hands & Voices staff is parents of children who have hearing loss and who provide information, parent-to-parent connections, lending library materials, and social and educational programs. (National) (Minnesota)

National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM)
The goal of the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University is to ensure that all infants and toddlers with hearing loss are identified as early as possible and provided with timely and appropriate audiological, educational, and medical intervention. (National) (Minnesota EHDI)

Pacer Center
Founded in 1977, PACER Center was created by parents of children and youth with disabilities to help other parents and families facing similar challenges. Today, PACER Center expands opportunities and enhances the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families. PACER is staffed primarily by parents of children with disabilities and works in coalition with 18 disability organizations.

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Health Care
DeafMD is an innovative website providing accurate, concise, and valuable health information in American Sign Language to the Deaf & Hard of Hearing population. Using health information created by two trustworthy and unbiased government sources—the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, our team of healthcare providers, linguists, and educators translates this complex information into ASL.

Deaf Community Health Worker Project (DCHW)
Minnesota is the first state to have Community Health Workers (CHW) who are Deaf. Community Health Workers come from the communities or cultures of the people they serve. A Deaf CHW in the healthcare setting helps reduce medical errors, increase communication, and increase patient-doctor trust. Contact Anita Buel at

Deaf Hospice Education Project (DHEP)
In 1998 a small group of Deaf and hearing people met in St. Paul, MN to discuss the barriers Deaf people face at the end of life. This initial weekend gathering was organized by The Deaf Hospice Education Project (DHEP), funded by the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Social Justice Fund. Since then, DHEP has grown significantly in helping volunteers connect with hospice services so that services are provided quicker. DHEP also works to connect the Deaf community with hospices for better access to information.

NAD Model Mental Health for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals Bill of Rights Act
This Bill of Rights Act for the provision of mental health services to deaf and hard of hearing individuals is intended solely as a model for advocates to promote and for state legislatures to consider for codification into state law. Some words that are defined in this Act may already have definitions in existing state laws, and advocates and legislators are encouraged to refer to the definitions already used in their state laws.

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Disability Social History Project
A community history project that outlines important events in disability history, topical exhibits, special projects and resources.

Gallaudet University Archives
The Gallaudet University Archives is responsible for the institutional memory of the University and also strives to preserve the memory of the Deaf Community.

History Through Deaf Eyes Project
The “DEAF EYES” project at Gallaudet University was established to bring Deaf history to the public and expand our understanding of United States history. It aligns the broad sweep of U.S. history with the experiences of Deaf people, showing how major social, economic, and technological shifts in America have changed Deaf lives. It is propelled by the stories of people both eminent and ordinary and conveys a broad range of perspectives on what it means to be deaf.

History Recorded: A Project of National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) and StoryCorps
StoryCorps, a nonprofit oral history project that records conversations and archives them in the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, visited Rochester in July 2009. More than 100 interviews with area residents were conducted. Three of the interviews were done in cooperation with NTID.

Minnesota Digital Library: Minnesota Reflections
Minnesota Reflections is the first online project of the Minnesota Digital Library Coalition. It is a collection of more than 45,000 images and documents depicting the history of Minnesota. More than 100 institutions including historical societies, public libraries, special archives, universities and colleges have shared their original materials with the Minnesota Digital Library.

Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society is chief caretaker of Minnesota’s story—and the History Center is home to the Society’s vast collections. Within its archives reside artifacts ranging from American Indian moccasins and artwork to furniture and photographs, Civil War-era flags and a wealth of geneaological information. All of it is accessible today and for future generations.

The Disability History Museum
The Disability History Museum has no bricks and mortar. The virtual museum is home to a searchable, theme-based digital collection of documents and images related to disability history in the United States. Artifacts are drawn from public and private collections around the country.

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Laws, Statutes, Rules & Regulations – NEW!

Deaf Rights Resources – Minnesota
The new Deaf Rights Resources website is sponsored by MNCDHH, and provides a single-point entry to Minnesota laws, statutes, rules, and regulations that affect the lives of deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing people. This site also provides advocacy resources, and includes links to existing websites that we think have done a good job interpreting the laws and helping individuals to self-advocate.

Deaf Rights Resources – Federal
The new Deaf Rights Resources website is sponsored by MNCDHH, and has a limited section on federal laws that affect the lives of deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing people.

Public Access

United States Access Board
The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and on accessible design and continues to enforce accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities.

World Wide Web Consortium: Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. The WAI works with organizations around the world to develop strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities.

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Online Training

Making Your Case – Free online advocacy training presented in ASL and/or English
Making Your Case is a free self-study course designed to help people advocate for positive changes in public policies that impact people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. This course is presented in American Sign Language and/or English and is designed for: self-advocates; parents and family members of children who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing; direct care workers; service providers; and professionals working in fields related to deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing services.

Video Captioning Essentials
Video Captioning Essentials is a self-study course designed to help managers master the basic tools needed to deliver captioned web videos that are useful, cost-effective, and satisfy legal and regulatory requirements. This course is designed for: communications managers, IT managers, webmasters, video producers and editors, and anyone else responsible for managing an organization’s website content.

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Alliance for Technology Access
The Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) is a growing national and international network of technology resource centers, community-based organizations, agencies, individuals, and companies.

Minnesota Star Program (STAR)
The Minnesota STAR Program is federally funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration in accordance with the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended (P.L. 108-364). STAR’s mission is to help all Minnesotans with disabilities gain access to and acquire the assistive technology they need to live, learn, work and play.

Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) Program
The TED Program provides telephone equipment to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, speech impaired or have a physical disability and need adaptive equipment in order to use the phone. The equipment is loaned out at no cost as a long-term loan. Available equipment include Captel phones, light flashing ring signalers, TTYs, amplified telephones, loud ringers, hands free speakerphones and more.

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Technical Assistance

ADA Minnesota
ADA Minnesota is a resource providing Minnesota citizens with disabilities, businesses, communities, government, universities and colleges assistance in implementing the ADA.

DBTAC Great Lakes ADA Center
The DBTAC – Great Lakes ADA Center provides information, problem solving assistance and referrals for implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other related laws.

State of Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology
The Office of Enterprise Technology provides planning and technical infrastructure services that enable the business of government in the State of Minnesota. Our principal customers include the citizens of Minnesota, state agencies and constitutional officers, public school systems and higher education institutions, and the local political subdivisions of the state.

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Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MNCDHH)
The Commission provides information, training and assistance to deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing Minnesotans as it relates to voter access, information and registration. MNCDHH has a long history of working closely with deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing grassroots organizations and with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State during election cycles to make sure the act of voting and democratic process are fully accessible.

Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
The secretary of state is the chief election official in Minnesota and is responsible for administration of the Minnesota election law. In this capacity, the secretary of state operates the statewide voter registration system and prepares the official roster of voters for every election conducted in Minnesota. In this website, you find everything relating to information about voting, elections and voter registration within Minnesota.

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NOTE: If you notice a listing above in need of updating or any resources missing that you would like to see added, please email us at to let us know.