Deaf Community - Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennesee shows up on lists of the top most affordable places to live. It is also home to a deaf community. Here is what is available for deaf (and hearing) people in Nashville.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Organizations

Some of the deaf and hard of hearing organizations in Nashville are:
  • Nashville Chapter Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. They meet on the third Saturday monthly.
  • Nashville Chapter of the Tennessee Association of the Deaf. Meets first Saturday each month.
  • Nashville Deaf Senior Citizens. Meets monthly.
  • Hearing Loss Assn of America Nashville chapter. Meets second Saturday of each month.
  • Tennessee Organization of Deaf-Blind, Inc. (for more information contact the Deaf-Blind Coordinator in the Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services).

Entertainment for Deaf in Nashville

Deaf and hard of hearing people in Nashville can see open captioned movies (like subtitled foreign films) at two movie theaters, the Regal Hollywood Stadium 27 and the Regal Opry Mills Stadium 20.

Silent Dinners are held on what seems to be a monthly schedule in Nashville mall food courts. Three such malls are the Opry Mills Mall, Cool Springs Mall, and Rivergate Mall. According to one website, the dinners begin at 6 pm and last until mall closing time. Another eating opportunity is the Deaf Chat Coffee in Nashville.

In addition, there seems to be a regularly held Deaf Tennessee Expo in Nashville.

Plus, the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere (3777 Nolensville Road) holds Deaf Days. The following theater is also accessible:

  • The Tennessee Performing Arts Center at 505 Deaderick Street offers interpreting for some performances.
  • The Nashville Children's Theater is said to provide some interpreting services but there was no information about it on their website ( when I checked.

    Interpreters for Deaf in Nashville

    Interpreters moving to Nashville can join the Nashville chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Their website is

    One of the key interpreting agencies in Nashville is Gate Communications. According to their website, they offer religious and performance interpreting and other types of interpreting services as well. They are based in Franklin, at 330 Mallory Station Road, but serve Nashville.

    Nashville State Community College offers an associate's degree in sign language interpreting. They claim to be the only college in Middle and West Tennessee offering a sign language degree.

    Learning Sign Language in Nashville

    The Department of Communication Studies at Trevecca Nazarene University offers Sign Language I and II (COM 2060-70). Christ Church offers basic sign language classes. The League for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (see Social Service Organizations, below) offers sign language classes.

    Social Service Organizations

    There is a League for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Nashville, at 415 4th Ave South.
    Their website is It appears from their website that the League is the center of the deaf community of Nashville, allowing clubs and professional organizations to utilize the facilities. The League has been around since 1927 when it began as a lip reading class (the League still offers speech reading classes today).

    Nashville is also home to the statewide Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, at 400 Deaderick Street in Nashville. The Council is under the Division of Rehabilitation Services, which is itself under the Department of Human Services.

    Families in Nashville with deaf-blind children can seek assistance through Project TREDS (Tennessee Technical Assistance and Resources for Enhancing Deaf-Blind Supports) that is housed at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Center for Child Development, at 3401 West End Avenue.

    Deaf abusers of drugs and alcohol in Nashville can seek help from the deaf and hard of hearing services of The Alcohol & Drug Council of Mid-Tennessee, located at 2612 Westwood Drive.

    Deaf Education in Nashville

    The Mama Lere Hearing School, based at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, offers an oral education to deaf children toddler through six years of age. The objective of the school is to prepare the children to mainstream. This mainstreaming is likely to take place in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, which have their own services for deaf students.

    Prospective teachers of the deaf in Nashville can enroll in the Master in Education of the Deaf (MDE) degree offered by the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkeerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences (1215 21st Avenue South).

    Early intervention services for parents of young deaf children are offered through the Tennessee Infant Parent Services (TIPS) program, which uses the SKI-HI curriculum to teach parents and babies and toddlers.

    Library Services for the Deaf in Nashville

    Nashville's Public Library is responsible for overseeing the entire state's library services for the deaf and hard of hearing. They publish the Tennessee Directory of Services for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, available online. Their events calendar lists interpreted children's performances.

    Cochlear Implant Programs in Nashville

    The Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center at 1215 21st Avenue South. in Nashville has a Cochlear Implant Program.

    Religous Services for the Deaf

    Near Nashville there is the Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church.

    Interpreted services for the deaf are available at the following Nashville churches:

    • Central Church of Christ (145 5th Avenue North), which has a minister to the deaf.
    • Christ Church (15354 Old Hickory Blvd) has a deaf ministry.

    Where to Get Hearing Services

    One place in Nashville to get hearing services is at Ears 4 U Ronald C Sheffey Hearing Services, 121 21st Ave. Another place is the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Tennessee State University (330 10th Avenue South), which offers speech and audiological services. Yet another place is the Vanderbilt Balance & Hearing Center (1500 21st Avenue South).

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