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Philanthropy Friday: Columbus Speech & Hearing

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Communication is what connects people to each other and to the world around them.

Since 1923, Columbus Speech and Hearing has worked tirelessly to help individuals hear better, as well as teach them how to express their thoughts and ideas through speech or sign language. By empowering people with disabilities they are helping them achieve their goal of leading meaningful and independent lives, which makes their world a better place.

In its beginnings, nine graduates of a lip-reading class formed an organization called the League for the Hard of Hearing. Over 85 years later, and a handful of name changes, the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center has served tens of thousands of people with communication problems in the Columbus Metropolitan area and beyond. Today, this non-profit, United Way Agency provides complete diagnostic and therapeutic services to children and adults with communication disorders, as well as, vocational rehabilitation programs designed to assist adults who are hearing-impaired, Deaf, or Deaf-Blind.

Areas of Service

Columbus Speech and Hearing offers three specific areas of service:

1. Audiology & Hearing Aid Services provides personalized services, in addition to the latest in hearing aid technology to best meet individual communication and hearing needs.

2. Comprehensive Program for the Deaf provides statewide vocational services to adults who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or who have other disabilities. Some of the services include job placement, life skills, and career development.

3. Speech-Language and Occupational Therapy provides licensed and certified staff to diagnosis and treat speech language and sensory processing disorders.

Offering Support

Columbus Speech and Hearing also offers various support groups. T.A.L.K (Talking and Learning about Kids) support group is a free parent education program that meets every Wednesday evening and covers a variety of topics such as: oral motor development, communication and language development, self-esteem and behavior management, and coping with a diagnosis. To assist individuals with Parkinson’s disease, four times a month speech pathologists work to improve vocal loudness, speech clarity, oral motor skills, breathing, memory and cognition. During the summer, the Center holds small therapy groups for children of all ages. Some groups for children include: receptive/expressive language delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, interaction/pragmatic skills deficits, and sever articulation deficit.

Interested in Sign Language Classes?

Columbus Speech and Hearing offers four levels of American Sign Language classes – ASL I, II, III and Conversational Sign. Each ASL class is $90.00 plus the purchase of the $10 required text. Each class lasts two hours and is held for eight weeks. No qualifications are required to take ASL at the Center. The program is not designed to certify individuals to interpret, but rather to provide an opportunity for individuals to improve their communication abilities with co-workers, family or friends who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing. The program also educates those who may be losing their hearing, those incorporating signs in communicating with their hearing children, and those who simply have an interest in American Sign Language. For American Sign Language Classes, click here.

How Can You Help?

The Center can always use more volunteers and has a variety of volunteer opportunities. Volunteers can help with clerical/everyday tasks, help with children in their preschool classrooms or with small groups, or with the preparation, set-up or staffing of fundraising events. Visit their website to find out how you can become a Columbus Speech and Hearing volunteer.


Currently Columbus Speech and Hearing is gearing up for their 2nd Annual Great Communicators Golf Classic. The event is June 30, 2009 at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club in Powell. Check-in begins at noon, shotgun start at 1p with a reception at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30. They are still accepting golfers, sponsors and volunteers. Registration is available online. If you are interested in volunteering, send an email.

Funds raised at the Great Communicator Golf Classic will help Columbus Speech and Hearing continue to provide high quality service, increase awareness of speech, language and hearing issues, and, most importantly, continue their mission of improving communication for life!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller

To read a touching behind the scenes story about Columbus Speech and Hearing and to see more photos visit Columbus imPRessions.

For more information on Columbus Speech and Hearing visit their website.

Philanthropy Friday is a feature article by columbus imPRessions that will highlight a Columbus area non-profit organization every other week.

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