Shawnie Rechtenbaugh, Department Secretary

rehab home page
Vocational Rehabilitation
Independent Living
assistive daily living services (adls) program
Disability Determination Services
Services for Deaf/Hard of Hearing
provider resources
business resources
Governor's Awards
vr satisfaction survey

rehabilitation services

Services for the deaf/Hard of Hearing

The Division of Rehabilitation Services administers programs that provide services to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech impediments.

who is eligible?

Any individual who is deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and late-deafened and is a resident of South Dakota is eligible.

Click on the following links to learn more about services for the deaf/hard of hearing:


telecommunications relay services (TRS)

Telecommunications relay services provide full telephone accessibility to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled. Specially trained Communication Assistants (CAs) complete all calls and stay on-line to relay messages either electronically over a Teletypewriter (TTY) or verbally to hearing parties.

The service, known as Relay South Dakota is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with no restrictions on the length or number of calls placed. This valuable communications tool gives all individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled the opportunity to make personal and business calls just like any other telephone user.

For more information, visit Telecommunication Relay Service .

Deaf Services Comprehensive Assessment


Telecommunication Equipment Distribution

The purpose of the Telecommunications Equipment Distribution program is to provide accessible telephone services for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, have severe hearing loss or are speech-impaired. This is accomplished through a combination of both the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) and the Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program (TED). Special equipment is available at no cost to enhance telephone communication.

To be Eligible for Equipment

Eligible residents of South Dakota will have access to equipment and services available through the Telecommunications Equipment Distribution (TED) program. Equipment is distributed by Communication Specialists statewide.

A consumer must complete an application and meet all of the following eligibility requirements before any equipment or services are provided.

An individual must:

  1. Be deaf, deaf/blind, severe hearing loss or have a severe speech impairment; This can be determined by a completed "Certificate of Hearing/Speech/Visual Impairment" form or other medical documentation supporting the impairment. A severe hearing loss will be considered when the hearing loss is 30dB average in the frequencies (500, 1000 & 2000) or greater in the better ear; and
  2. Be a state resident; and
  3. Have access to telecommunication Service

For more information about TED services, or for applications use the links below:
Note you will need to select the application for the office serving your county


Equipment Distribution Program office addresses and counties served.

CSD Rapid City Branch Office
2310 N Maple Ave, Rapid City, SD 57701-7849
Phone (605) 394-6864 V/TTY

Bennett, Butte, Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Jackson, Lawrence, Meade, Mellete, Pennington, Perkins, Oglala, Todd

2023 Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program Application, Rapid City

Pierre Division of Rehabilitation Services
Hillsview Properties Plaza 3800 Hwy 34, c/o 500 E. Capitol Pierre, SD 57501
Phone (605) 773-5990 V/TTY

Brule, Buffalo, Corson, Dewey, Hughes, Hyde, Jones, Lyman, Stanley, Sully, Ziebach

2023 Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program Application, Pierre

CSD Aberdeen Branch Office
1707 4th Ave. SE Aberdeen, SD 57401
Phone (605) 626-2668 V/TTY

Beadle, Brown, Campbell, Clark, Codington, Day, Deuel, Edmunds, Faulk, Grant, Hand, Marshall, McPherson, Potter, Roberts, Spink, Walworth

2023 Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program Application, Aberdeen

CSD of Sioux Falls
524 N Sycamore Ave, Ste 2
Sioux Falls, SD 57110


Aurora, Bon Homme, Brookings, Charles Mix, Clay, Davidson, Douglas, Gregory, Hamlin, Hanson, Hutchinson, Jerauld, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, Tripp, Turner, Union, Yankton

2023 Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program Application, Sioux Falls

Project Link South Dakota 

Project LinkSD provides greater communication access to those who are unable to use a standard telephone.  Through broadband technology, deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired individuals are able to communicate telephonically utilizing advanced technology devices.  Project LinkSD addresses the barrier low-income deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired individuals encounter when accessing broadband services.

Project LinkSD Application

Contact for more information!


Hearing Aid Assistance Program (HAAP) for children under 19

In 2014 the South Dakota Legislature identified a need for many families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing: assistance in purchasing hearing aids. Under HB 1166, the legislature approved funding to establish the Hearing Aid Assistance Program (HAAP).

HAAP will help with the cost of hearing aid(s) and associated ear mold(s) for South Dakota children, younger than 19, with progressive or permanent hearing loss who would benefit from hearing aid(s). The program is open to families with a household income of less than 400 percent of federal poverty guidelines that do not have coverage through their current insurance plan. HAAP operates on a sliding fee schedule, with the financial contribution ranging from 50 to 100 percent of the total cost of purchasing hearing aid(s) and associated ear mold(s). If costs for services and hearing aids are currently bundled together, they will need to be separated for submission to HAAP. HAAP will begin accepting applications Dec. 1, 2014. Program launches Dec. 1, 2014.

Application/forms/additional information:

Cochlear Implant Program

A Cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that assists an individual with severe or profound hearing loss to hear sounds. The Division of Rehabilitation Services, through the Department of Human Services, administers the Cochlear Implant Program. This program is designed to provide financial assistance to an eligible individual who is uninsured or to help offset the deductible or coinsurance for an individual with an insurance plan that covers cochlear implants. The program provides funding for the cost of the implant surgery for one ear or both ears, one or two implant devices, surgeon fee, hospital fee, the initial mapping and up to a maximum of 12 follow up mappings within one year post surgery.

Cochlear Implant Final Rules

Apply for the Cochlear Implant Program

If you have questions please contact:

Shayna Remund, CRC
Program Specialist
1310 Main Ave. S. Ste 102
Brookings, SD 57006
(605) 688-4224 - Phone
(605) 688-5497- Fax

iCANCONNECTsd - Deaf Blind Equipment Program

iCanConnectSD is a program established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to distribute a wide array of assistive technology to people who are deaf-blind and require special equipment to make a phone call, send an email or access the Internet.

Working in conjunction with the FCC, Perkins and Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults (HKNC), the Department of Human Services will connect people in South Dakota who are deaf-blind with the proper equipment and training on how to utilize it. iCanConnectSD provides a wide range of specialized and "off-the-shelf" hardware, software and applications. The program also provides one-on-one training to help people use the equipment to its fullest.

Who can benefit from iCanConnectSD:

Who is eligible?

Any individual who meets the definition of deaf-blindness in the HKNC Act and has an income that does not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level can qualify to receive telephone, advanced communications and information services equipment.

Communication is essential for staying healthy, holding a job, managing a household and participating in the community. If you know someone who might benefit from the NDBEDP program contact,

Shayna Remund, CRC
Program Specialist
1310 Main Ave. S. Ste 102
Brookings, SD 57006
(605) 688-4224 - Phone
(605) 688-5497- Fax

2023 Application for the iCanConnectSD - Instructions & Guidelines

2023 Application for the iCanConnectSD - Large Print 

FCC Consumer Guide explaining the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP)

You can also visit the national website or call 1-800-825-4595.

Communication assistance services

The purpose of the communication assistance services program is to provide communication support services to eligible individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing to achieve increased integration into the community and workplace.

Communication assistance services include:

Non-ADA Interpreting Requests

As of January 1, 2018, DRS began accepting requests for financial assistance relating to interpreting costs for interpreting needs that fall outside the ADA effective communication guidelines.

These requests can come from individuals, non-profit agencies, membership-based organizations, private youth organizations that fall outside the oversight of schools, religious functions or any other form of non-ADA interpreting situations. The key to communicating effectively is to consider the nature, length, complexity, and context of the communication and the person's normal method(s) of communication. This policy will not cover any employment situations. Program Guide

Application Requests

Requests can be received via email, mail or fax on a form provided by DRS and must be filled out completely while including location, date, time and length of the interpreting need.


If the request is approved by DRS, the agency/individual requesting assistance will be responsible for hiring the interpreter for the approved event.


Once an interpreter has been confirmed, DRS must be notified to make payment directly to the interpreter hired for the assignment.

To answer any questions or to apply for interpreter cost assistance through DRS, you can contact Shayna Remund at (605) 688-4224 or

Interpreter Certification

The Department of Human Services implemented interpreter certification policies and procedures. Along with South Dakota Certification level III, IV, and V, South Dakota recognizes national certification (RID & NAD), EIPA (Educational Interpreter Proficiency Assessment) with a score of 3.5 or higher, and will be issuing provisional certification for graduates of an accredited IT (Interpreter Training) Program. All certifications require initial and annual registration. All interpreter certification testing must be taken through the national organization (RID) or through EIPA.

SD Interpreter Registry

For further information contact: Shayna Remund at 605.688.4224 or email at

Julie Paluch
(605) 773-4644
toll free at (800) 265-9684
E-mail at

Department of Human Services
Division of Rehabilitation
Hillsview Plaza, E. Hwy 34
c/o 500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: 605-773-5990
Fax: 605-773-5483

Mentoring Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS); Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) sponsors ASL mentoring services in order to promote certification and to support advancing of interpreting to the highest level an interpreter can achieve in order to assure quality interpreting services for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. The Division of Rehabilitation Services administers and provides mentoring services through contracts with provider agencies and private mentors to those qualified candidates who are preparing to provide services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing after becoming registered with the state of South Dakota.

Mentors must be a Level V (Master of Interpreting) certified interpreter, NIC certified interpreter registered in South Dakota for a minimum of 5 years, or an individual who is deaf and follows the essential functions of a mentor. State office will approve Level IV (Advanced) and RID interpreters on a case-by-case basis when mentoring is requested in a remote location where a Level V or NIC interpreter is not readily available. DRS will maintain a list of mentors for availability to candidates seeking mentoring.

For further information on mentoring, contact:

Shayna Remund
Program Specialist
1310 Main Ave. S. Ste 102
Brookings, S.D. 57006
605.688.4224 - phone
(605) 688- 5497 - fax

Interpreter & Mentoring Resources