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URMC / Deaf Wellness Center / About Us

About the Deaf Wellness Center

The Deaf Wellness Center seeks to advance the quality of life of persons for whom hearing loss is a significant aspect of their identity or experience in the world. Our focus is on increasing the positive contributions of the health care fields to this quality of life, especially the field of psychology. We pursue innovations in clinical service, training, and scholarship that will have the broadest possible impact and utility. In pursuing our mission, we make maximal use of the unique resources available to us in the Medical Center and the Rochester community. In all of our efforts, we are dedicated to insuring the leadership of persons who are themselves deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Research Mission

The Deaf Wellness Center seeks to play a leading role in advancing scholarship in the identification, manifestations, and treatment of psychological and medical disorders that affect deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Our program is committed to research that is innovative, useful, and timely. We promote research that has local, national, or international relevance. In all of our efforts, we are dedicated to furthering the scholarly endeavors and research careers of persons who are themselves deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Training Mission

The Deaf Wellness Center trains deaf and sign-proficient hearing individuals for leadership, broad competence, unusual dedication to excellence in the mental health professions, and promotes and contributes to such training in other healthcare professions. Our primary training objective is to prepare deaf professionals for careers of scholarship and clinical service excellence. We also train hearing individuals who work with deaf professionals or deaf consumers, fostering their comprehension of and respect for deaf people and sign language, and their ability to work with deaf people in an effective and mutually enriching manner. Our training content is informed by the latest relevant research and addresses the spectrum of biological, psychological, social, linguistic, and cultural factors that impact the lives of deaf people.

Clinical Service Mission

The Deaf Wellness Center provides direct psychiatric, psychological, and social services that are linguistically accessible, culturally affirmative, and effective in enhancing quality of life. We also provide consultation and advocacy to institute positive change in systems relevant to deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Our priorities include the development, application, and evaluation of innovative clinical service approaches, provision of services that support our research and training missions, and programs that address local and regional service inadequacies. We actively pursue cooperative ventures with public and private entities that can assist in achieving these clinical service goals.