This is the headline photo montage illustrating rehabilitation careers

Employment and Education Resources Rehabilitation Services Administration  |  Order Form  |
Rehabilitation Services Administration |  Medical Loans  |  Surgery Loans


Find out more

Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

An important personal quality of effective Deafness Rehabilitation Professionals and Interpreters for Deaf Individuals is an appreciation for the value of communication and its impact on people’s lives. An essential professional quality is to be aware of the varied needs of deaf individuals and familiar with the unique characteristics of the Deaf culture and community.

Services provided by Deafness Rehabilitation Professionals include assessment, vocational and adjustment counseling, interpreter referral, advocacy, job placement, and independent living skills training. Interpreters for Deaf Individuals help meet the needs of individuals who are deaf or deaf-blind through manual, tactile, oral, and cued speech interpretation. Both often assist individuals in legal, medical, and other settings in the community.
A critical factor for success is the ability to communicate with each individual in his or her preferred mode of communication. These professionals are skilled in using several methods of communication such as American Sign Language (ASL) and Pidgin Signed English (PSE). Familiarity with the use of various assistive listening devices is helpful.


Many states require a master's degree for employment as a Deafness Rehabilitation Professional. While many agencies may hire graduates from general rehabilitation counselor training programs, employment opportunities are greater for those who have graduated from programs offering master's degree specialization related to deafness or services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some colleges and universities offer stipends or scholarships to students interested in pursuing careers in providing specialized rehabilitation to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Interpreters for Deaf Individuals can receive training in public and private agencies, schools, and other institutions. A college degree is not always required, but is often preferred by employers.


Deafness Rehabilitation Professionals are eligible for the same types of certifications as vocational rehabilitation counselors. These include Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC), Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and others. Many states and programs are implementing sign language proficiency evaluations to assist professionals in developing and improving their American Sign Language skills. While certification in sign language proficiency is not currently required, national certification or state screening levels for sign language proficiency are often stated as a hiring preference.

To work as an Interpreter for the Deaf, state or national certification is required. National certification is through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). States use a variety of screening instruments.


Deafness Rehabilitation Professionals and Interpreters for Deaf Individuals may be employed in a variety of settings including vocational rehabilitation agencies, universities, community rehabilitation programs, mental health settings, independent living agencies and community service centers.


top | next | back

Find out more about Vocational Rehabilitation
(Excerpts from the Careers in Vocational Rehabilitation Booklet)
Who makes a good rehabilitation professional?
Preparing for a Career in Vocational Rehabilitation
Questions about a Career in Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation Professions:
Rehabilitation Counseling
  Rehabilitation Counselors
Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments
  Orientation and Mobility Specialists
  Rehabilitation Teachers
Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment
  Vocational Evaluators
  Work Adjustment Specialists
Job Development and Placement Specialists
Rehabilitation of Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  Deafness Rehabilitation Professionals
  Interpreters for Deaf Individuals
Undergraduate Education in the Rehabilitation Services
  Rehabilitation Practitioners
Rehabilitation Administration
Other Vocational Rehabilitation Professions
  Rehabilitation Medicine, Physiatrists, Rehabilitation Nurses

  Prosthetics & Orthotics
  Rehabilitation Technologists
  Rehabilitation Psychologist
  Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists