Deaf Services are provided by specially trained counselors in deaf culture, audio metrics, and manual communications skills. Types of services include communication devices and interpreting services. The MDRS Deaf Services Program continues to promote excellence by striving to assist new RCD’s (Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf) to reach the required communications skills level on the Signed Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI), an American Sign Language assessment developed by the Rochester Institute of Technology. Adequate communication skills are a pre-requisite to meaningful counseling and guidance with people who are Deaf and use manual communication. This skill, along with other specialized training, has been a vital factor in the successful rehabilitation of individuals with deafness or significant hearing loss.
The Office on Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a division of MDRS that focuses on the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing and enhances services to this population. In 1997 the Mississippi Legislature passed the bill establishing ODHH for the purpose of providing community outreach, training, advocacy and education on issues that relate to deaf and hard of hearing people. In addition, ODHH is charged with improving interpreter services in Mississippi by increasing the certification level of interpreters and maintaining a list of qualified interpreters. For information on the registry, click here.
The Deafblind Program is a division of MDRS that focuses on providing assistance to individuals in which a hearing and vision loss are present at the same time. Deafblindness is a unique disability and requires services to be specialized. Rehabilitation Counselors for the Deaf (RCD) and Rehabilitation Counselors for the Blind (RCB) work together and with other Counselors, such as Supported Employment, Transition, and Independent Living Counselors, Employment Coordinators and a Deafblind Specialist to provide the services.