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Alert message

Eric M. Bost, Commissioner

The Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) has a program that helps people who are deaf and blind with multiple disabilities become more communicative and independent. The Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DB-MD) program serves people across the state on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the availability of service providers and funds.

The DB-MD program transferred to DHS from the Texas Rehabilitation Commission in September 1999.


To be eligible, an individual must:

  • Be age 18 or older.
  • Meet financial criteria.
  • Meet the description of deaf and blind with multiple disabilities:
    • Deaf:  can't understand speech, even with amplification.
    • Blind:  less than 20/200 vision in the better eye, with correction, or a severe visual field defect.
    • Multiple disabilities: at least one other disability, such as mental retardation or autism, that impairs independent functioning and requires 24-hour-a -day support.

Residential support options

Clients, with assistance from their families and program providers, choose one of these options for residential support:

  • Reside in their own apartments or homes, with support.
  • Reside with their parents or guardians, with support.
  • Reside in a group home, with support.

The following support services are provided to help ensure the success of the residential care:

  • Habilitation - help with daily living skills throughout the day and evening.
  • Intervenor - a bridge between the individual and community.
  • Chore provider - help with home maintenance.
  • Assisted living - all three previous services provided as a bundle in group homes.
  • Case management - eligibility determination, plan of care development, and service monitoring.
  • Specialist consultations - consultations for physical and occupational therapy, orientation and mobility, nutrition, skilled nursing, and behavior and communication problems.
  • Respite care - support for the primary caregiver.
  • Medical equipment - equipment used to increase interaction with the environment.
  • Environmental accessibility - home or apartment modifications.
  • Medications - prescribed medications.
  • Family training and respite - annual family conference for parents and siblings and people with deafblindness.  (This service does not reqire entrance in the Medicaid Waiver.)
  • Summer camp - specialized camp with communication support and skill training.  (This service does not reqire entrance in the Medicaid Waiver.)

To request services

Contact DHS Community Care Services at 512-438-2622 or 1-877-438-5658 and ask for a DB-MD program referral form.

Return the completed form to the DB-MD program specialist at the Texas Department of Human Services.

There is a waiting list for services.  Clients are enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis.  When your name comes to the top of the waiting list, you will be contacted by DHS to begin the eligibility determination process and select a provider.

Choose a provider from the list, and arrange for an interview.

After eligibility is established, help the provider develop a plan of care.

Once the plan is approved by DHS, services will begin.

For more information

Contact the DB-MD program specialist at:

Texas Department of Human Services
Mail Code W-521
Attn: DB-MD Program Specialist
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030
Phone: 512-438-2622 or 1-877-438-5658

In administering its programs, the Texas Department of Human Services does not discriminate, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, political belief, or religion.

Media Services 9P234
Sept. 2000
Publication No. DHS-565