Montana School for the Deaf and Blind
The Montana School for the Deaf & the Blind (MSDB) provides comprehensive educational opportunities for Montana’s students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deafblind, giving them their best chance for independence and success.
Children and youth from preschool through high school can attend MSDB as residential or day students on the Great Falls campus, where specialized instruction is combined with opportunities to attend classes in the public schools. Learn about MSDB's campus-based services here.
MSDB also serves as a statewide resource center for families, school districts, and professionals serving students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deafblind. Our team of Outreach Consultants serves hundreds of students and families in communities across Montana, and MSDB offers additional outreach programs on campus. Learn about their statewide outreach services here.
This Resource Guide is for you. Whether you are a parent who has just discovered your child has a hearing loss or a parent of a child who's needs have changed. If you are a teacher, a school administrator, an audiologist, or someone else related to the community of deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
The Montana Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, (MRID), is a nonprofit organization of interpreters and transliterators for persons who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing, the purposes of which shall be:
TO PROVIDE training and resources for the interpreters/transliterators who work in the general public and educational settings
TO EXCHANGE ideas, opinions and experiences concerning interpreting
TO PROMOTE the highest standards of communication methods between all consumers (hearing, Deaf, deaf and hard of hearing)
TO ADHERE to the Code of Professional Conduct as adopted by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)
Montana Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
The National Hands & Voices webpage has a wealth of resources. You can learn about anything from early intervention to deaf perspectives to the history of Hands & Voices. You will definealty learn something here!
National Hands & Voices Webpage
For more than 121 years, Shodair has stayed in step with the ever-changing needs of Montana's children. Shodair's medical specialists develop programs that meet our mission of providing for the care and treatment of children suffering from illness, diseases, and other physical, mental, and emotional conditions that impair their health and well-being.
Shodair Children's Hospital
Disability Rights Montana is the federally-mandated civil rights protection and advocacy system for Montana. They have the legal authority to represent almost any person with a disability.
Disability Rights Montana
Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program
The Montana Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention (NBHSI) Program's goal is to ensure that all infants in Montana are provided with newborn hearing screening services and resources. To meet this goal, the NBHSI program follows the 1-3-6 Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) guidelines established by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. These guidelines provide that:
by 1 month all babies born in Montana receive newborn hearing screening —including second
screenings if indicated
by 3 months diagnostic services, if needed, are performed by a qualified pediatric audiologist
by 6 months referral to early intervention services provided by the Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind (MSDB) or part C for all babies diagnosed with permanent hearing loss
In 2008 Montana legislation required all hospitals in Montana that deliver babies provide newborn hearing screening services and that medical providers who deliver babies outside a hospital shall provide parents with educational resources about the importance of newborn hearing screening. Eight Montana birth centers/midwives have hearing screening equipment. This legislation also requires audiologists to report screening and diagnostic test results to the Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program for reporting and tracking purposes. The Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind was designated as the primary agency responsible for tracking all children who are diagnosed with hearing loss and providing family support services.
Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program Partners:
Parents, Birthing Hospitals, Midwives, County Health Departments, Primary Care Physicians, Audiologists, Part C Early Intervention, and Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind. Contact
Amber Bell, (406) 444-1216, or go to their website:
Montana Speech/Language and Hearing Association
MSHA is an organization of professionally trained and Montana licensed Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists working in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, neonatal care units, schools and private practices across Montana. We provide reliable, evidence-based and client centered services to individuals throughout their lifespan.
MSHA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Montanans by improving communication skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) including accent reduction and swallowing.
Montana Association of the Deaf
The Montana Association of the Deaf (MAD) was founded in Boulder, Montana, June 1912 by twenty-four deaf individuals. At first, the purpose of setting up an organization was a social gathering for deaf people who were isolated in their hometowns near and far and they needed communication. Some years later MAD became involved in advocacy for deaf people legally and economically.
The objectives of MAD are as follows:
The mutual assistance of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of the state.
The promotion of the welfare, education, and civil rights of the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing.
The encouragement of intellectual, industrial, and social advancement of the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing.
The dissemination of knowledge related to the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing and their education and employment capabilities.
As a nonprofit organization, the mission of MAD is to promote, protect, and preserve the rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the state of Montana.
The advocacy scope covers any issues that may affect present and future generations in the areas of communication, education, employment, and more.
MAD has four chapters named Great Falls Club of the Deaf (GFCD), Bitterroot Club of the Deaf (BCD), Missoula Club of the Deaf (MCD), and Gallatin Association of the Deaf (GAD).
Every odd-numbered year MAD hosts a conference and the site is determined by the vote of the members at the conference.
Montana Center for Inclusive Education
The vision of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education is creation of a fully inclusive society that values diversity.
The Montana Center for Inclusive Education serves the diverse population of Montana and provides continuing professional development opportunities for educators and direct service providers.
Montana Relay makes it possible to make phone calls between a standard telephone and a text telephone, of the kind used by Montanans who are Deaf, severely hard of hearing, or who have a speech disability. An operator will "translate" between the two different phones, speaking aloud whatever is typed, so the standard phone user can hear it, and typing whatever is said, so the text telephone user can read it.
Montana Relay makes communication by telephone simple, dependable and convenient for people who have difficulty using a standard phone. Montana Relay not only provides equal access to the phone system, but also has a positive impact on the business and economic climate of the state. Businesses statewide realize that they, too, can benefit from accepting and placing Montana Relay calls. Every year, thousands of people throughout the state use the wide variety of features offered by Montana Relay. For instance, as the senior adult population continues to grow, so does the number of people who can take advantage of using text-based telephone equipment and Montana Relay.
Montana Relay is operated by the Montana Telecommunications Access Program, which is administratively attached to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.