DETROIT (WWJ) – As the population ages, the need for deaf and hearing-impaired services is expected to grow, but Michigan may not be prepared.

WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee reports that state figures show more than one million Michiganders are deaf or hard of hearing, many of them seniors, giving us the eighth largest hear-impaired population in the country.

But with just 500 interpreters in the state, Michigan ranks near the bottom for providers.

Linda Booth runs Deaf & Hearing Impaired Services, a non-profit agency that provides services for deaf and hard of hearing seniors and their families.

“Part of it is we do have a new credential testing system here in Michigan – and the testing system has a forty-seven percent failure rate,” said Booth.

As the Boomer Generation grows older, she’s particularly concerned about Michigan meeting the needs of an aging deaf population.

“Of course, there is medical interpreting and physician’s office and hospital stays, but rehabilitation centers as well … for the deaf the most important thing is being able to socialize with others that communicate in their same language,” Booth noted.

For more about Deaf and Hearing Impaired Services, click on HERE.



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