Act 1997-37 brought the Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (ODHH) to life on paper in 1986. Two years later, ODHH opened its doors. ODHH currently has four offices — Allentown, Harrisburg, Johnstown and Erie, and a total of five staff members.
ODHH provides three primary services, represented by the acronym AIR.
We ADVOCATE for people with hearing loss who are not receiving proper services from government or private agencies.
We distribute INFORMATION and answer questions on issues relevant to people with hearing loss.
We REFER people to appropriate organizations. ODHH is ready to serve as liaison, open doors, explain procedures and make referrals. No request is too small.
In 2004, the Sign Language Interpreter and Transliterator State Registration Act (Act 2004-57) was passed, requiring ODHH to establish and implement the interpreter registration program (link to sub menu Sign language Interpreter registration act). ODHH is committed to ensure that the spirit of the law and the ideology of the interpreting profession are practiced and upheld in the commonwealth.
ODHH also provides administrative support to the Advisory Council for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing, also established by Act 1997-37.