Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The WELS Mission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing seeks to help congregations share the gospel of Jesus Christ with members of WELS and others who are deaf or hard of hearing.

It is estimated that loss of hearing affects more than 500 million people worldwide. One in three people over 65 years of age and one in two over the age of 80 have a hearing loss. Ninety percent of hearing losses can be helped with hearing instruments, and 10 percent can be treated medically and/or surgically. Yet fewer than 5 percent of those who could benefit actually use a hearing instrument.

The Mission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing offers resources to aid ministry to people who are deaf or have any degree of hearing loss. Churches that desire to help people with hearing loss participate in worship services and other church activities can obtain information on assistive listening devices (hearing loop, FM system) or sign language interpreters and VRI (Video Remote Interpreting). See our access directory below for a full listing of WELS churches with hearing loops, signed services and captioned sermons.

Find resources from the Mission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing on the WELS Resource Center  for pastors, congregations, parents and teachers, and interpreters.

MDHH has created a video and other resources with practical suggestions and advice to help congregations make their worship, Bible study, and other activities more accessible to people who have hearing loss, whether they are deaf or hard of hearing. Learn more at the Congregational Services website.

Did you know? WELS Mission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is offering grants to congregations that are installing hearing loops. Learn more.

An online sign language class is being offered through Martin Luther College in spring of 2024.

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    by FIC on 2024/04/16 at 8:13 pm

    Verna Weigand never envisioned working as a sign language interpreter. But then she married her husband, Dean, whose younger brother was deaf from birth. “I wanted to be able to communicate with him,” remembers Weigand. That desire led Weigand to take sign language classes. She quickly realized that although there are thousands of signs for

  • Grants available to help more people hear the Word
    by FIC on 2022/04/30 at 1:13 am

    WELS Mission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MDHH), part of the Commission on Special Ministries, is offering $500 grants toward the installation of a hearing loop to WELS/Evangelical Lutheran Synod congregations that apply for it. MDHH reports that hearing the spoken word in a church setting continues to be a struggle for people

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    by Amanda Klemp on 2022/01/31 at 3:28 am

    Growing up deaf with limited language skills, a woman seeks to understand what Christ did for all people. Rebecca Davis is a Christian. She loves her Lord. Yet, Rebecca has never heard the Word of God; she has never heard a hymn. Rebecca was born deaf. Struggling to understand Rebecca and her sister were both

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