75 Years of Service

Whew, we’re getting old!  HSDC is proud to be celebrating our 75th anniversary of non-profit service to the community. Check out some historical pictures below to see how far we’ve come.


Get to know HSDC better through our 75th anniversary 75 fast facts.  Throughout our anniversary year we are sending out these facts in our monthly PORTAL e-news letters.  Below are the first 50 fast facts about HSDC; stay tuned for the next 25! We want to get to know you, too. Share your own fast facts about yourself with us on our Facebook page.

HSDC Fast Facts

  1. HSDC serves over 5,000 people every year.
  2. The Greater Seattle Business Association named HSDC Nonprofit of the Year.
  3. The audiology technician plays a tuba.
  4. The audiology department donated 27 hearing aids to low-income clients in 2011.
  5. Approximately 30% of our staff is deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing.
  6. Last year HSDC provided 3,137 hours of individual advocacy for deaf & hard of hearing clients.
  7. Two of our staff members graduated from HSDC’s own Parent-Infant Program.
  8. HSDC’s SignOn interpreting services provide free interpreting for funerals and memorial services.
  9. HSDC provides free speech-language and hearing screenings.
  10. Our youngest client this year is 1 month old; the oldest is 100 years old!
  11. HSDC has satellite offices in Bellingham and Tacoma and serves 13 counties across western Washington.
  12. The HSDC Store has a showroom with demo equipment, the only one like it in the state of Washington.
  13. HSDC is the only provider in Western Washington of the SpeakEasy device for people who stutter.
  14. We have free parking!
  15. University of Washington students earn credits for volunteering in the Ned Behnke Speech Language Preschool through the Carlson Service Learning program.
  16. HSDC’s Audiology services received the highest overall ratings in the Puget Sound Consumer’s Checkbook in the last two editions.
  17. Collectively, SignOn’s interpreting staff has 130 years of professional experience.
  18. Last year HSDC answered 3,373 questions about hearing loss and available resources.
  19. Over 50% of our clients have low incomes.
  20. Last year HSDC provided nearly $1 million worth of services at no cost to clients. 
  21. Over 90% of the kids in our programs improve their communication, cognitive, and/or social-emotional skills, preparing them for success in school and in life!
  22. HSDC provides remote interpreting services internationally.
  23. A film of the kids in the Rosen Family Preschool was shown at a school for the deaf in Japan so that the young students there could learn about America and our program.
  24. HSDC’s SignOn program provided on-site interpreting services in 56 different cities across the country in 2011.
  25. Ned Behnke Speech Language Preschoolers recently learned to excavate dinosaur bones, and visited the museum to see real dinosaur bones!
  26. Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent birth challenges.
  27. American Sign Language, a language with its own grammar and vocabulary apart from English, is the language of the Deaf Community.
  28. Our Speech-Language Pathologists have unique specialties such as voice issues and aural rehabilitation.
  29. The audiology department has a daily walk-in hearing aid repair service!
  30. The Rosen Family Preschool enjoyed a visit by the Deaf Children Society in Vancouver, BC to build a partnership between the two preschools.
  31. The Ned Behnke Speech-Language Preschool was the first preschool in the region to use Cued Speech.
  32. HSDC is leading a neighborhood effort to create a pocket park featuring art and flora accessible to people of all abilities!
  33. Bellingham staff members Joel and James (Dino) recently helped form a Task Force with a local hospital, enabling the Deaf Community to express their concerns and experiences receiving ER services.
  34. HSDC is offering Community ASL Classes once again!
  35. HSDC’s 5th annual Leaping for Literacy event raised nearly $20,000 to support our early childhood education services for children who are deaf, hard of hearing or facing speech-language challenges through the Connor R. McRae Scholarship Fund.
  36. HSDC’s new audiologist is a published researcher.
  37. The Center founded the Shared Service Coalition, a group of 7 nonprofits that meets monthly to collaborate and share best practices.
  38. Speech Language Pathologist and Director of Clinical Development, Jennifer Sherley, has a new baby girl named Hildi!
  39. The Bellingham staff recently held a 9-week foundational ASL class for parents and family members of deaf students in the area, as well as with public school staff members.
  40. The Center has hosted Day of Caring groups from Nordstrom’s, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IBM, United Way of King County, and Microsoft and Boeing, among others.
  41. HSDC gave CPR/First Aid classes to 21 people using ASL last year.
  42. HSDC has an endowment fund named after Clyde E. Mott, who was Executive Director of the agency from 1957 – 1982; he was largely responsible for the growth and development of HSDC’s programs and building!
  43. HSDC has a diverse, 10-member board of directors who volunteer their time to help HSDC be the best organization possible to serve people with communication challenges.
  44. Deaf & Hard of Hearing Client Advocates helped a woman save her condo by clearing up confusion about home-owner’s dues caused by a communication barrier. 
  45. The Director of Development used to be a PIP parent!
  46. SignOn ensures that people with hearing loss can communicate with police officers and emergency personnel through the Emergency Sign Language Interpreting Program (ESLIP).
  47. HSDC’s gift aid program recently doubled the number of aids it could donate due to an assistive technology grant from the University of Washington.
  48. Five of HSDC’s current staff members started at HSDC as volunteers – we love our volunteers!
  49. Two of HSDC’s speech-language pathologists are trained in PROMPT, “an approach that uses touch cues (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide patients through a targeted word, phrase or sentence.”
  50. A PIP graduate was in the movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”