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:
- Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS)
- Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Program (TED)
- Project Link South Dakota
- Hearing Aid Assistance Program (HAAP)
- Cochlear Implant Program
- I CanConnectSD - Deaf Blind Equipment Program
- Communication Assistance Services
- Non-ADA Interpreting Requests
- Interpreter Certification
- Mentoring Services
- Interpreter & Mentoring Resources
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 .
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:
- 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
- Be a state resident; and
- 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
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
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
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
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.
- To be eligible for Project LinkSD, the individual must meet the following criteria:
- The individual must be a resident of South Dakota;
- The individual must be deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind, or have a speech impairment and utilize an advanced technology device for telecommunication;
- The individual must first apply for services through the Federal Lifeline Program and provide proof that they were either denied or the program is not available through their provider or in their area; and
- The individual must be financially eligible:
- Enrolled in a Public Assistance Program; or
- Yearly household income at or less than 300% of the federal poverty income level
Contact SDPrograms@csd.org for more information!
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.
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
- Certification of Hearing Status Form
- Cochlear Implant Application Form
- Cochlear Implant Program Information
If you have questions please contact:
Shayna Remund, CRC
1310 Main Ave. S. Ste 102
Brookings, SD 57006
(605) 688-4224 - Phone
(605) 688-5497- Fax
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:
- An individual with combined hearing and vision loss who wants to use Skype to connect via sign language with her grandmother;
- An man who has lost sight and hearing as a result of aging and wants to email and Facebook to reconnect with friends and family.
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
1310 Main Ave. S. Ste 102
Brookings, SD 57006
(605) 688-4224 - Phone
(605) 688-5497- Fax
You can also visit the national website or call 1-800-825-4595.
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:
- Information and referral;
- Peer support;
- Communication assistance;
- Community integration skills training;
- Deaf awareness training, and
- Technical assistance.
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
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.
- The request must be made before the event takes place. Application
If the request is approved by DRS, the agency/individual requesting assistance will be responsible for hiring the interpreter for the approved event.
- The interpreter must be licensed to provide interpreting in South Dakota. If available, provisionally certified interpreters should be utilized.
- Interpreters being considered should be within close proximity of the assignment to avoid travel costs if at all possible.
Once an interpreter has been confirmed, DRS must be notified to make payment directly to the interpreter hired for the assignment.
- DRS reserves the right to refuse future requests for any individual missing scheduled events where an interpreter was approved to provide services.
To answer any questions or to apply for interpreter cost assistance through DRS, you can contact Shayna Ebben at (605) 688-4224 or Shayna.Ebben@state.sd.us
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 Certification Administrative Rules
- Provisional Certification Form
- National Annual Registration Form
- Annual Provisional Registration Form
- Initial Registration Form
For further information contact: Shayna Ebben at 605.688.4224 or email at Shayna.Ebben@state.sd.us
toll free at (800) 265-9684
E-mail at Julie.Paluch@state.sd.us
Department of Human Services
Division of Rehabilitation
Hillsview Plaza, E. Hwy 34
c/o 500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
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:
1310 Main Ave. S. Ste 102
Brookings, S.D. 57006
605.688.4224 - phone
(605) 688- 5497 - fax
Interpreter & Mentoring Resources
- The CATIE Center - Interpreting in Medical Settings
- Digiterp Communcations On-Line Ordering
- Sign of Development, LLC - Professional Development Workshop
- DO IT Interpreting Training Center
- CSD - Communcation Services for the Deaf
- Interpreting Consolidated - Education Interpretation Research