Debra Lobsitz, Information and Referral Specialist from MCDHHThis month we have been focusing on the services and resources available for people living with hearing loss. As the Information and Referral Specialist at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH), I respond to inquiries from individuals and organizations on a broad range of topics.

There is never a dull moment in my job! A day doesn’t go by that I don’t learn something new about the technology, services, or needs of the people living with hearing loss in Massachusetts.

Common Topics Of Discussion

Some of the most common topics I discuss with people include American Sign Language (ASL) classes, Deaf Culture, becoming an interpreter, working with interpreters, and who is responsible for paying for interpreters.

Assistive Technology (AT) is also a common topic including related funding, and vendors for AT use in the home, the classroom, and the office.

Direct services available for deaf and hard of hearing people of all ages are a resource shared with many, as well as hearing aid technology, funding, coverage, and how to choose the best hearing aid. I also get a lot of questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act and its application.

Why I Love My Job

In my position I discuss the physics of sound and the physiology of hearing with individuals and organizations making inquiries. The range of technology includes everything from pen and paper to Smartphone apps; the simplest assistive technology in use for decades to the newest technology still in a development phase.

The best part of it all is I have the privilege of seeing the power of information change people’s lives.



The following  ASL videos highlight services offered by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

 Additional Resources

Best Practices: Assistive Listening Devices and Systems / Information for Consumers and Information for Vendors
These documents are made available in keeping with the Mission of MCDHH to provide accessible communication, education and advocacy to consumers and private and public entities.

The Savvy Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Loss by Karen Rockow
This wonderful resource guide provides invaluable information for people that have lost all or most of their hearing during their teenage or adult years.

 Improvements in our Educational System for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Schoolchildren- MNIP Fact Sheet
Aurora Wilber, Project Coordinator at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, is the contributor for information on this fact sheet.

For additional information, contact Massachusetts Commission for Deaf & Hard of Hearing at  (617) 740-1700 TTY, (617) 740-1600


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