The purpose of independent living services is to enable people who have a hearing loss to become independent in their homes and communities.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing often face barriers that are not immediately related to work. Independent Living Services are provided to assist in removing those barriers. ILS may also be provided in support of Vocational Rehabilitation Services or to prepare a person for vocational training.
The ILS Program is carried out through IL Counselors assigned to different areas of the state. The IL Counselor works with the consumer to develop independent living skills and set attainable goals. ILS may begin early in the consumer’s life, as soon as hearing loss is diagnosed or later in life as lifestyles or environments change and present barriers.
Services are provided to individuals who meet income and severity of hearing loss guidelines. Income eligibility maximums are based on family size.
Services are based on an individual independent living plan and may include counseling, audiological and medical evaluation, independent living skills training, adaptive equipment, basic sign language instruction to the individual or family members, interpreter services to support other planned services, information and referral, and advocacy.
The ILS Program also conducts community awareness programs to enhance the understanding and integration of individuals with disabilities.
To locate an SDHH counselor in your area, contact the office nearest you.