AIDB

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Regional Centers - Huntsville

 

This center covers Madison, Marshall, Jackson, Limestone and DeKalb Counties. Most of our services are free to residents of Alabama who have a diagnosed vision or hearing loss of at least 25%, and for children with a diagnosed developmental delay.

Children's services

The earlier children learn, the better. Some experts estimate that up to 80% of the skills learned in a lifetime are learned in the first five years. That's why we place so much emphasis on helping families, and encourage families to come forward with their concerns as early as possible.

The most important issue is the acquisition of language. Without language skills, we are isolated, cut off from the rest of the world. Language is the key. And, just as for sighted and hearing children, the early acquisition of language skills typically means a higher level of comprehension.

Everyone around your child can be a teacher. Brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, caretakers. Infants and toddlers will soak up language and information from every source. Regional Center staff members can show you how to make this happen. It may take more time, more creativity to communicate with a child who is blind or deaf, but the rewards of making that effort are incalculable.

For children and families, we offer the following services:

  • General information
  • Early intervention service coordination
  • Referrals for services such as assistive technology, audiology, counseling, healthcare, nutrition, nursing, occupational and physical therapy, social work, special instruction, speech/language pathology, transportation and vision services
  • Evaluation and ongoing assessment of child
  • Technical assistance for community agencies such as daycare centers, preschools and schools, including technology demonstrations
  • American Sign Language classes for families
  • Participation in Individual Family Service Plan(IFSP)/Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings for developing child and family goals

Adult services

The Huntsville Regional Center offers a variety of services for our clients. We serve as a primary source for referrals to all kinds of resources in the area for people who are deaf and blind. We can tell you everything from where to find a special piece of adaptive equipment to how to get transportation to the store or the doctor.

For people who are deaf, interpreter services are an important aspect of our program. AIDB interpreters can be found in the business world, the healthcare field, in courts, churches, schools and clubs.

We offer Braille services, transliterating important documents into Braille for our clients or providing area businesses with Braille translations of their literature or restaurant menus. We also make presentations to students, businesses, educators and civic and community groups. This makes issues facing our clients easier to understand, and forges stronger ties to the rest of the world.

As we age, many of us experience a loss of vision or hearing.  Adjusting to these changes can be difficult unless we're aware of the many resources our community offers to help. Making connections between our older clients and these resources is an important part of our services. In addition, we have many classes and services to meet the needs of Huntsville's seniors with sensory loss.

Services we offer to deaf/hard of hearing adult and senior clients include:

  • Information and referral services
  • Client advocacy
  • Personal adjustment training
  • Technical assistance to community agencies and schools
  • Sign language classes
  • American Sign Language interpreters
  • Resource lending library
  • Quarterly newsletter, The Sensory Scoop

Services for blind/visually impaired clients include:

  • Information and referral services
  • Client advocacy
  • Personal adjustment counseling
  • Adaptive computer and assistive technology training
  • Volunteer reading service for blind clients
  • Recreational opportunities for blind clients
  • Volunteer grocery shopping assistance program
  • Resource lending library

Services for the community include:

  • Resource for projects, papers, and reports for elementary through graduate school
  • Resource lending library
  • Community education

Become an Ambassador

Over the years, we have reached out to thousands of people. While our services are free, they often make an invaluable contribution to the individual's quality of life. In appreciation, many families ask what they can do to help.

There is a place for you to make a contribution of your time and energy. Other families who may be in the same situation you were years ago can use your informal support and encouragement. If you have special skills in ASL or braille, you can help other clients. Or you can help us by talking to other people about deafness or blindness and what we do at AIDB. We call these volunteers "Ambassadors," because they go out into the world as living proof of our focus on abilities. To become an Ambassador, call us. It's one way to return the gifts others have given you.

How can we help you? Click here to email us. Or contact us at:

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
Huntsville Regional Center
Karla Smith
600 St. Clair Ave, Bldg. 2
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
256-532-0942 (fax)
256-539-7881 (voice/TDD)