Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center 


Just as food, shelter and clothing are basic needs, so is communication. HSDC works with people affected by hearing loss and/or speech challenges to remove barriers and address this basic need. HSDC’s services span the life cycle (infant - elder) and include early learning and education programs for children with communication disabilities; audiology and hearing aid services; speech-language therapy; Deaf and hard of hearing services, assistive technology, and American Sign Language interpreting services. By joining direct services with systemic change, we create an inclusive and accessible community.

Mission Statement
The mission of Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center is to work with deaf, hard of hearing and speech clients to achieve maximum potential through effective communication connections with family and community.  We envision a future in which hearing status and speech challenges do not impact one's ability to communicate or reach life goals.
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Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center
1625 19th Ave 
(206) 323-5770 

Lindsay Klarman 
Executive Director 


Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center Programs

HSDC's diagnostic, educational and treatment programs rest on over 75 years of understanding the personal and community needs of people who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing and those with other communication challenges, and the changing technologies available to them.

HSDC's early learning and education programs include the bilingual (ASL & English) Parent-Infant Program for deaf and hard of hearing children (birth-3) and the Ned Behnke Speech Language Preschool – serving children with speech and communication delays. 

Our speech-language therapy services provide screening & comprehensive treatment for children & adults experiencing a full range of delays including: Language & Learning issues (e.g. Autism); Speech & Oral Motor Development; Fluency & Stuttering; Cognitive Issues; Voice Issues; Aphasia & Post-Stroke; Parkinson’s Disease & Accent Modification needs. Services are provided in a supportive environment where clients & their families are encouraged to take an active role in the evaluation & therapy process.

Audiology & Hearing Aid Services provide support to children and adults with hearing loss through free hearing screenings; comprehensive hearing evaluations and rehabilitation services (hearing aid sales, fittings and service); hearing education; and outreach to schools and senior centers. Affordable assistive listening and signaling devices can be found at HSDC's Store (

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

School readiness is important for all children - HSDC has responded by filling the gap in services for children with disabilities and delays. HSDC is particularly excited about the success of our preschool, established to expand services for families with children facing hearing loss, speech challenges, and/or learning disabilities. Our programs create foundations for improved learning opportunities and give at risk children and families a chance for future success.

Because HSDC serves a large population of low income clients, being able to cover the costs of uncompensated care is a huge priority at the center. Our goal is to provide full communication services to all who need them, such that communication barriers are removed and clients become independent and successful. Community support allows us to continue these efforts by enabling HSDC to act as a convening force for equal access, giving “voice” to the community.


Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC) serves the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard-of-Hearing and other communication-challenged populations.

Proven Success
HSDC provides communication services that combine case management, clinical services, and education. For low-income families and individuals in particular, HSDC is often their only resource for comprehensive communication-focused education and medical care. Last year, over 50% of their clients were low income.

HSDC acquired the assets of SignOn Interpreting Services - a local Seattle service well established in the community. This addition to HSDC’s services aligns with their mission and addressed two challenges: it allowed the Center to meet the demand for ASL interpreting services, and it provided a new revenue stream which could help support uncompensated care.

Use of Best Practices
HSDC reflects its constituents with over 30% of their staff members being Deaf, Deaf-Blind, or Hard of Hearing. HSCDC is a fully signing agency. Employees take American Sign Language classes and a staff interpreter facilitates meetings and interactions.

On an operational level, HSDC has found that working with both individuals and the community is the most effective way to steward change and increase the health and well-being of their clients. Staff members work one-on-one with clients to provide personal and tailored support. They also work with community organizations, government and businesses to create a community that is more welcoming, understanding, and accessible to people with hearing loss.

HSDC is working with the community to renovate the small plot of land adjacent to their building. They received funding from the City to buy the land and are organizing the community to turn it into a park. The park will create a green space that will benefit the whole community, it will be particularly well suited to HSDC clients through the inclusion of sensory art and tactile elements.

HSDC has developed “learning communities” where colleagues and agencies come together to discuss best business practices, new developments in service delivery and strategic initiatives to support clients and communities.

Financial Health
HSDC has diverse revenue stream including insurance, fee for service, government contracts, product sales, and contributed income. Financial challenges relate primarily to the earned income portion of revenue. Hearing aid sales have slowed in recent years. Most insurance companies don’t cover hearing aides and as people’s disposable income decreased, they delayed purchase of their aids and other assistive technology.

Their government contracts are stable and they are adding new contracts. Relationships with major donors remain strong with retention and engagement as a primary focus. HSDC is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, which is an additional motivation for many donors. HSDC has secured three large donations to their 75th Anniversary Circle, and are hoping to secure more prior to year end.

The Center’s board and staff are continually looking for new ways to either reduce expenses or to increase revenues and have recently focused on several opportunities for revenue growth. The Board is beginning to take a more proactive role in working with the property management company to find ways to make this the Views at Madison generate revenue. The Center is also looking into the creation of a daycare to be housed in the current Parent-Infant Program playroom, which is only used in the evenings.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

12/10/2012 $10,000.00provide general operating support.
12/10/2010 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/17/2008 $20,000.00support general operating expenses and the Learning through Language Capital Campaign.
10/5/2006 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.


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