Center for Hearing & Deaf Services (HDS) observes its 100th Anniversary today, September 21, 2021.
HDS has been in continuous operation since its founding a century ago. Our origin as the Pittsburgh League for the Hard of Hearing began when social work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals was in its infancy. Early members were proud of the fact that they were the first group of people with disabilities in the world’s history to organize for the purpose of working out a solution to their own challenges. Their founding principals were to teach people with hearing loss the value of lip reading, to provide social activities for them, and to provide communications access to those who needed it.
We have expanded our mission to be more inclusive of those who can benefit from our services and we have adapted our programming as needs arise and change, but those fundamental priorities have been the core of our evolution and success for 100 years. Our mission is to provide a diverse and affordable spectrum of quality diagnostic, rehabilitative, and supportive services to meet the unique challenges of our clients. Our professional staff provide access to communication in order to increase independence and enhance quality of life for those individuals, and serve as an information and referral source for those individuals and the general public. Our spectrum of services include: American Sign Language (ASL) and foreign language interpreting and translation; audiology; an assistive device center; a program for Deaf youth and their families and friends; and a Life Skills program for clients who are Deaf and intellectually disabled and/or have mental health needs. HDS addresses critical community needs which are not being addressed by any other agency. To fulfill the need, HDS provides services in 26 counties in Pennsylvania; Morgantown and Wheeling, West Virginia; and East Liverpool, Ohio. Our headquarters remain in Pittsburgh, and we have satellite offices in Erie and Greensburg. HDS is planning a Centennial Celebration Event to be held in May 2022.