What's the Deaf Services Program all about?

The Deaf Services Program serves Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients who have mental illnesses and require intermediate to long-term inpatient treatment to address emotional, behavioral, and communication challenges. Our staff is trained in the unique culture of the Deaf community and offer a therapeutic environment that is both socially and environmentally designed to meet the specific needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients.

The Deaf Services program must treat clients whose clinical presentations are very diverse, other than being inclusive of hearing loss, with many demonstrating a wide variety of language, emotional and behavioral challenges, many of them severe in nature. This requires a programming approach that is eclectic and generalist in nature, targeting the individual and heterogeneous treatment needs of each client, encompassing a range of therapeutic approaches, including cognitive behavior therapy, illness management and recovery, and behavior therapy. There is a focus on teaching basic and advanced social skills, including coping, conflict resolution, communication, interpersonal, and problem solving. In addition, the staff interpreter conducts a Communication assessment to identify communication strategies that are most effective for use with each client, ensuring that all treatment team members are familiar with a client’s preferred modes of communication.

All interventions are informed by the values of Recovery and Psychosocial Rehabilitation, emphasizing client strengths and the empowerment necessary to make informed choices. The emphasis on strengths and skills teaching facilitates engagement in treatment for clients who have likely been marginalized and have had limited opportunities to benefit from treatment.

The Deaf Services Program will emphasize a culturally affirmative approach with most services being offered to the clients as a group. Group work is most effective with deaf peers and a variety of visual methods should be used. When clinically appropriate, other deaf clients at SLPRC who cannot be safely housed with those in Cottage C may participate in services offered to Cottage C clients. Clients will also participate in programming broadly offered to all SLPRC clients, such as the Client Work Program (CWP) and Central Activity Therapy. In addition, when indicated in their treatment plans, clients will have the opportunity to participate in select, specialized groups available in other rehabilitation programs such as Sex Offender Group.