The Hearing Speech & Deaf Center of Greater Cincinnati strengthens our community through advocacy and by supporting individuals and families to overcome obstacles to communication. Founded in 1925 as the Cincinnati League for the Hard of Hearing by Anna Pattison, the wife of the then Governor of Ohio, the original mission was to provide a social and recreational outlet for those who lost their hearing and were marginalized in society. In 1950, keeping up with changes in service delivery models, shifts in demographics as soldiers returned home from WWII with noise induced hearing losses, and the proliferation of University training programs, the League evolved and became the Cincinnati Speech and Hearing Center. The Center was instrumental in the founding of the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Communication Sciences and faculty was shared between the two institutions for many years. In the mid-1950s the Junior League established the Deaf Nursery at the Center that became a highly regarded preschool program. In the 1970s a program for American Sign Language (ASL) users began. Finally, in the 1990s, to truly reflect those served, the name of the agency was changed once more, to the Hearing Speech & Deaf Center of Greater Cincinnati (HSDC).
The Hearing Speech & Deaf Center of Greater Cincinnati (HSDC) is a non-profit organization providing education, advocacy, audiology, sign-language interpreting, and speech-pathology services to over 5,500 clients annually. We are committed to meeting individuals’ specialized communication needs regardless of their ability to pay. HSDC serves anyone, of any age, of any socio-economic status, within the nine county area encompassing Greater Cincinnati, who suffers from a speech, voice, language disorder, hearing impairment or d/Deafness.
HSDC services are delivered through two departments, Clinical Services, comprised of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, and Community Services for the Deaf. All staff are professionally trained and credentialed. In addition to our offices in Corryville, West Chester and Eastgate, clinicians provide services and outreach throughout the community.
HSDC would like the GiveCamp volunteers to create a new website using WordPress by migrating as much content as possible from the existing site. We need a website that is easy to edit, add on to, and use on a regular basis.
Our website is the first impression many individuals have of our organization. A new website that is user-friendly and is easy to maintain will allow HSDC to better reach our target audiences. Individuals seeking to learn more about hearing loss, speech delays, and American Sign Language interpreting (and all the services we offer) will be able to navigate our website and find information easily. We also hope to showcase our success stories and news updates so that our community partners and donors can see how their support has improved the lives of those with communication disorders.
HSDC current website uses Dot Net Nuke (DNN) for our cms platform and our domain is hosted by Network Solutions. But due to the user unfriendly cms and inability to download critical updates, the current website is poorly designed and at risk of being hacked. Our current website does not allow HSDC to showcase our services and positive outcomes. For example, many of the skins on our site pages are no longer formatted correctly so the layout of these pages does not fit standard screen width.
HSDC would like to develop a new website using WordPress which will better serve our target audiences and allow HSDC staff to maintain and update the site. WordPress offers several features that HSDC is seeking in its next website. WordPress has hundreds of design templates, automatic security updates, automatic installation of new software updates, and a strong technical support community. And the design of WordPress allows for beginner or intermediate users to master the management of the site.
For the past few years demand for our services had increased, especially from those who cannot afford to pay. Any revenue we generate goes back into our charitable services program which provides hearing aids or speech therapy at a deeply discounted cost to individuals who otherwise could not afford our services. Over 80% of our clients are low income or qualify for Medicaid. By choosing to invest back into the community, HSDC does not have the resources available to redesign our website.
Our team worked with the hearing speech & deaf center to help migrate their site from a long unsupported version of DotNetNuke, to a wordpress site that they could maintain easily. Our artist redesigned a logo that had been a part of the organization for 90 years, and provided them with multiple hand drawn assets that they could use in their marketing materials. We ensured the new site was responsive so that it could benefit the many users in the deaf community that use smart devices as their primary connection to their community.