Effective communication is more important than ever in a crisis

Hearing Speech + Deaf Center empowers communication in Greater Cincinnati with care beyond compare. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing a fully integrated system of expert-led D/deaf services and programs, advocacy, and individualized counsel alongside a top-notch clinic for hearing services and speech-language therapy for children and adults and occupational therapy for children.

Hearing Speech + Deaf Center is buffeted from every direction by COVID-19 and, even now, we continue to serve D/deaf and hard of hearing individuals and others who rely on us to overcome their communication challenges. But we need your help – more than ever!

GREATER NEED: The communication needs of Greater Cincinnati’s D/deaf and hard of hearing community are greater than ever in times of crisis. These neighbors are often excluded from up-to-date news and public health advisories because of their different communication needs – often with tragic consequences. After Hurricane Katrina, we learned that most victims of that tragedy came from the weakest members of society. We can’t have Cincinnati repeat New Orleans’ experience.

LOST VOLUNTEERS: Before the COVID-19 onslaught, the efforts of our paid staff were bolstered by volunteers from the University of Cincinnati and other schools. Those volunteers’ hours of service are lost with the COVID-19 work/social restrictions.

FUNDRAISING: Hearing Speech + Deaf Center relies on donations from a thousand or more benefactors. Our annual Gala each May is the largest single fundraising event of the year. Now, our May Gala is postponed and HSDC is denied its revenues for the foreseeable future.

PROGRAM REVENUES: The efforts of our speech-language pathologists (SLP) and occupational therapist (OT) are interrupted with school closings and the transition to remote learning. Many SLP/OT activities are place-based, and revenues fall when schools and early-learning centers close. Our D/deaf services program provides ASL interpretation and captioning for businesses, the criminal justice system, educational, legal, and medical activities. Each of those areas is slower in our COVID-19 world, and the reduced activity further reduces revenue.

EXPENSE MANAGEMENT: The coronavirus pandemic and the global public health response are affecting most activities around the world, and Hearing Speech + Deaf Center is not exempt from those forces. As we recognize the greater needs of the D/deaf community in this crisis, we’re confronting falling revenues from revenue-producing service lines. To control our destiny, we’re focused on managing expenses, an area where that can have an immediate impact. Initially, we reduced clinic hours to three days a week, and we continue to monitor expenses constantly.

Similarly, we are monitoring developing public health guidance. Concern for the safety of our patients, staff, volunteers, and community is guiding our response to COVID-19.

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