Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

I am posting this for everyone who may find it of benefit.

I continuously read about how individuals who are still in the workforce and have hearing loss that necessitates amplification so that they can remain employed/function in their work environment are constantly in need of new, expensive hearing aids every few years and cannot afford the expense (understandably).

For anyone in this situation, PLEASE, and I cannot say that loud enough or often enough, PLEASE investigate if your state/country/principality/territory has an office of vocational rehabilitation. You may discover that you can get hearing aids at no cost to you if you qualify. Do not assume that because you have a job that you make too much money. Many of these departments are geared towards working individuals which means that they want you to have a “normal” income. The worst they could tell you is no. I fit between 1-4 patients a month who I have referred to OVR and ended up getting high-quality hearing aids with no out-of-pocket expense. also, don’t assume your hearing loss isn’t strong enough. I have fit people with nearly normal hearing all the way to a severe/profound loss. I assure am not trying to sell or push something…nearly all my patients have no clue that OVR even exists and many dispensers/ salesman/ audiologists might be more interested in making a buck rather than serving their patients (I make much less dispensing HA’s for OVR patients than private-pay).

So if you are working or looking for work or even enrolled in school or other training program for work, before trying to come up with the money to pay for a hearing aid or other assistive technology yourself, do a quick search of your local/regional government to see if such a program exists where you are.

Really thoughtful of you Doc. Thanks

Great post, Doc. Maybe everyone will research their state and post the information, unless there is a website somewhere that has all the information in one place.

Anyway, here is what I found out about Alabama:

Any deaf, hard of hearing, or late-deafened individual who has a substantial barrier to employment and needs assistance in preparing for a job, getting a job, and/or keeping a job is eligible for services.

  • Vocational counseling and guidance;
  • Vocational evaluation to determine skills, abilities, and potential to work;
  • Vocational training;
  • Purchase of hearing aids and other appropriate communications devices;
  • Interpreter services for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining employment;
  • Job placement assistance;
  • Rehabilitation technology services.
For additional information about ADRS Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services, contact [Tammy Adams]( , State Coordinator for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services, at 1-800-441-7607 (voice), 1-800-499-1816 ( TTY ).

[LEFT]Virginia’s page appears to be at Programs & Services - Virginia Assistive Technology System .

" There are many resources available to pay for Assistive Technology. If you are a client of one of the State Disability Agencies and need AT to function independently at work, at home or in your community, that agency may pay for what you need. "[/LEFT]

I am hard of hearing. I would like to find out how I can qualify for hearing aids.

Every state has a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program to assist individuals experiencing disability who want to enter or continue in employment. A minimum hearing loss is generally required for eligibility; however, since most losses increase over time, someone may be eligible before actually meeting the standard level on an audiogram.

VR services are paid for through a match of state and federal government funds and always managed by a state agency.

Like all human service programs today, VR is under severe fiscal constraints but still very much worth contacting. They usually have branch offices across the state. If employment is an option, VR should be your first stop when looking for funding needed hearing services.