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Your Community. Your Engagement. Your Empowerment.

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About the Initiative

Every day, Michiganders who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing contribute in countless ways to our schools, our workplaces, and our lives. But for decades, Michigan has lacked information about the people who make up these communities and their needs. The Not Without Us initiative aims to change that.

Not Without Us is an innovative, coordinated research initiative led by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ Division on Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (DODDBHH). The initiative’s primary goals are to:

  • Gather current and accurate information about the population of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing people throughout the state

  • Understand the needs of the people within these communities to guide development of future policies and programs

  • Share and discuss this data with a broad audience

The main activity of the Not Without Us initiative is a survey designed to assess the needs of individuals in the state of Michigan who are Deaf, DeafBlind, or Hard of Hearing. The survey aims to gather information about things like the services available in various settings (like school and work), household demographics, and more. Such a survey has not been done in almost 30 years, so this will be a huge and exciting undertaking.

The survey will be conducted primarily online in both English or American Sign Language and will also be available to take with assistance at in-person events and via mail by request. Sign up on our Contact page to receive a link to take the survey when it is available or to receive notification of events in your area.

Initiative Announcement

About the Division

The DODDBHH concentrates on helping improve the lives of Michigan’s Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing residents. Our mission is affirming the indisputable right of persons who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing to secure effective communication. The Division receives input from a 13-member Citizens Advisory Council, appointed by the Governor. Services offered by the DODDBHH include technical support as well as information and referrals related to accommodations and interpreters.

About the Partners

To conduct this important work, the DODDBHH has partnered with Public Sector Consultants (PSC) and Madonna University. PSC, an independent, nonpartisan public policy research firm, brings years of experience in designing and deploying large-scale research efforts. Madonna University offers extensive expertise and understanding of people who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing, which is critical to the success of this initiative. Together, this research team is uniquely positioned to support the DODDBHH in this study.