Assist individuals who have a hearing loss in obtaining services from service providers, accommodations by employers, and will strive to remove communication barriers through education and advocacy.

Program funded by the DARS Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

The Hearing Loss Resource Specialist (HLRS) program is an integral part of East Texas Center for Independent Living (ETCIL’s) existing Deaf and Hard of Hearing services which are offered in the 23 county area known as HHSC Region 4.  These counties - known as Upper East Texas - are Anderson, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood. 

The purpose of the HLRS program is to assist people who struggle with hearing loss by identifying solutions and training them to be successful in employment or in vocational training. We do this through the use of assistive technology such as hearing aid, assisted listening devices and we provide information to help them understand what accommodations are and how to use them and how to better advocate for themselves in the workplace, home and beyond. The program focuses on the communication and coping needs of people who are hard of hearing, late-deafened or oral deaf as well as to assist agencies and other providers in serving these consumers. The program helps to raise hearing loss awareness and education on the consequences of hearing loss through presentations to various groups, employers and agencies.

70% of the time and efforts of this program will specifically relate to vocational rehabilitation related activities targeting individuals between the ages of 16 and 70 who are still involved in employment.   30% of the time and efforts of this program will be allocated to activities targeting early childhood, elementary aged children and senior citizens. 

These activities will be performed by ETCIL employees including the Hearing Loss Resource Specialist in collaboration with professionals outside of the agency.  Some of these outside professionals will include the Regional Specialist, the STAP Specialist, DARS VR staff, Texas Workforce Center, Social Security Administration, local employers, audiologists, hearing aid dispensers, schools, colleges and universities, as well as nursing homes and the Area Agency on Aging. 

ETCIL has extensive experience working with many of these professionals as well as other social agencies, service providers and community leaders in Upper East Texas.  This experience will be invaluable as we coordinate with individuals and organizations concerning the newly formed Hearing Loss Resource Specialist Program.

Deaf Services –  the following communication tools are available:

Sign Language Interpreting Services – a fee based referral service that provides businesses and agencies with Certified Sign Language Interpreters.

Local and toll free TTY for communicating with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Video Relay - Sign language users can call anywhere in the United States at no charge and an interpreter will voice the conversation to the call recipient. The call recipient can then voice a response and the video interpreter will relay the message on the video screen using sign language.  

©ETCI 2018
"Michael Wilcox has been a wonderful resource and very helpful in assisting me with Hard of Hearing Services in the past year.  His work is very valuable."

-Patty Harraid
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Hearing Loss Resource Program
"I had cochlear implants recently. I want to thank you so much for all the help you [Michael Wilcox] gave me. The hearing devices were a big help, thank you again.  I can’t wait to get started on my new life.

-Paula Perez

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