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Office of Deaf Access

HISTORY : In 1980, at the urging of California's deaf community, the California State Legislature and the Governor created the Office of Deaf Access (ODA) to administer the state's Deaf Access Program (DAP). The DAP was created to ensure that state operated public programs address the communication needs of people who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and late-deafened.

PURPOSE : The ODA has two primary purposes. First, it acts as a liaison between the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Director's Office and the deaf community, various programs, agencies, and other organizations concerned with deafness or hearing loss. Second, the ODA provides contract administration and program oversight of CDSS' contracts with a network of eight, private, non-profit agencies that provide a variety of DAP services to California's deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and late-deafened populations.

PUBLICATIONS : The ODA has developed a number of publications that are available for download by clicking on the links provided below. If you are unable to download any of these publications, please contact the ODA and a hard copy can be sent to you. These three brochures are designed to provide American Sign Language assistance in specific communication situations.

  • Deaf Access Program (PUB 111)- This brochure describes the Deaf Access Program, which was created by the State Legislature to ensure that State and local government programs are adapted to meet the communications needs of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • American Sign Language-Signs for Work (PUB 179) - This brochure furnishes an alphabetical, pictorial listing of signs that may be useful in a workplace environment.
  • Basic Medical Sign Language (PUB 391) - This brochure is to be used as a guide for one-on-one communication in a medical setting. This resource should not be used in lieu of obtaining a qualified/certified interpreter.
  • A Manual Communication Guide for Field Officers (PUB 179A) - This brochure was created for distribution to law enforcement officials to alleviate some of the miscommunications that can occur during interactions with deaf individuals.


DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES FOR DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING SERVICES : The ODA has created the Directory of Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services. This directory is intended to be used as a guide for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and late deafened, as well as by parents, advocates, state agencies, educators, service providers or anyone who has an interest in hearing loss. It provides contact information for programs and services within California and the United States. Within the directory, you will find contact information and many website links to various public and private entities.

A complete evaluation of the resources in this directory has not been executed and the inclusion in this directory does not necessarily imply endorsement of the agency or services by the Office of Deaf Access (ODA) or the California Department of Social Services. The exclusion of any agency or organization is not intentional. Any reproduction of this directory will acknowledge ODA as the resource.

PROGRAM OVERSIGHT AND CONTACT INFORMATION : The ODA is responsible to the Director of the California Department of Social Services. The ODA's contact information is as follows:

California Department of Social Services
Office of Deaf Access
744 P Street, MS 8-16-91
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-8320 (Voice)
(916) 653-7651 (TTY)
(916) 653-4001 (Fax)
E-Mail: deaf.access@dss.ca.gov