Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC) serves the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard-of-Hearing and other communication-challenged populations.
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.
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:
$10,000.00||provide general operating support.|
$15,000.00||support general operating expenses. |
$20,000.00||support general operating expenses and the Learning through Language Capital Campaign.|
$20,000.00||support general operating expenses.|