Deaf Services Advocates Training

Next Training Anticipated Fall 2019

The Deaf Services Advocates Program provides the opportunity for Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) and other DBH contracted providers to have staff designated as a Deaf Services Advocate to enable deaf and hard of hearing consumers to navigate DMH services more easily and improve the quality of care they receive. Advocates receive specialized training from the Office of Deaf Services in how to support the provision of culturally appropriate, linguistically accessible services and the rights of deaf and hard of hearing consumers to make informed decisions about services and communication options.

Deaf Services Training

Full Version (11 Hours)

The Deaf Services Training program is an introductory training for mental health clinicians who want to develop the cultural competence necessary to provide appropriate services to consumers who are Deaf. Topics include:

  • American Sign Language (ASL), including its features, its significance in the Deaf Community, and the ASL skill variance in the Deaf population;
  • Cultural aspects of the Deaf population;
  • Medical, psychosocial, and developmental aspects of the Deaf population;
  • Language and educational issues in the Deaf population including limitations in English fluency, lip-reading, literacy, and fund of information.
  • Effective working relationships between interpreters and clinicians;
  • Differences in diagnostic presentation, treatment approaches, and treatment effectiveness for deaf individuals vs. hearing individuals;
  • Effective working relationships in Deaf Services treatment teams.

Video Version (4 Hours)

The Deaf Services Training, Video Version is a condensed version of the full training above. The same topics are covered but in less depth and without supplemental readings. CMHC staff are encouraged to complete this training in Relias Learning to earn a training certificate. Relias Learning Lookup Code: MOCMHC-DEAFSERVICES

Working with People with Hearing Loss

Mental Health Practitioner Online Training (3 Hours)

This online training from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division Mental Health Program helps mental health practitioners recognize the signs of hearing loss and how hearing loss impacts an individual’s emotional health, self-image, relationships, and ability to function in a world that relies on auditory information. ┬áThis course focuses on the unique needs, issues and experiences of individuals who:

  • Have some degree of hearing loss;
  • May or may not accept that they have a hearing loss;
  • May have undiagnosed hearing loss;
  • Do not consider themselves deaf, even if their hearing loss is severe or profound;
  • Do not use sign language as their primary way of communicating.

Stepping Up: Training Materials for Substance Abuse Counselors

MN Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Webinar (1.5 hours)

Stepping Up presents a series of videos and a discussion guide that address issues commonly encountered when working with deaf clients at various stages of treatment for substance use disorders. Scenarios presented include counselors who can communicate directly in ASL as well as services provided through an interpreter.

More than Meets the Eye: An Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center Webinar (1 Hour)

Dr. Christen Szymanski, director of Research and Evaluation at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, and a recognized expert on deaf and hard of hearing children with autism, explains the early warning signs of autism that may be present in young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She discusses how some of the current characteristics, warning signs, and tools for diagnosing autism may not apply to children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Office of Deaf Services Webinars

Understanding Deaf Culture – Elijah Buchholz
This webinar introduces the concepts of providing culturally appropriate and linguistically accessible mental health services to members of the Deaf community. Participants will develop a basic understanding of Deaf culture and its specific needs, and what American Sign Language is and how it affects the communication process in mental health treatment. Participants will also learn how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to working with Deaf individuals in mental health settings and how to work effectively with interpreters.

Working with Interpreters – Elijah Buchholz
This webinar will teach viewers how to effectively work with an interpreter in a mental health setting and is geared towards sign language interpreters/Deaf consumers; however the tips can be used for foreign language situations as well. Included are general tips as well as what to do before the session, during the session, and after the session.

Mental Health Interpreting

Mental Health Interpreting Webshops, CATIE Center, St. Catherine University
Free, self-directed online workshops on various mental health topics for interpreters. 1.5 hours/.15 RID CEUs each.

Behavioral Health Modules, CATIE Center, St. Catherine University
Interactive online classes for certified interpreters with at least three years’ experience. Topics vary by registration date. 20 hours/2.0 RID CEUs per 5-week class.

Mental Health Interpreter Institute, Office of Deaf Services, Alabama DMH
40 hours of live instruction on mental health interpreting from leading experts and the first of three steps to earn the Qualified Mental Health Interpreter (QMHI) credential. Offered annually in Montgomery, AL.