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Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center Poised to Expand Early Learning Resources for Preschoolers with Disabilities

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Awards $240,000 to help children with disabilities begin school ready to succeed

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Kristina Williams
Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center
Phone: 206.323.5770

Susie Burdick
Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center
Phone: 206.323.5770

SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded the Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center (HSDC) capital support in the amount of $75,000, and three years of operating support in the amount of $165,000 ($55,000 for each of three years), for a total of $240,000. The grant is in support of HSDC’s Learning through Language Campaign, and specifically for the early learning preschool program.

The Learning through Language Campaign early learning preschool program includes the expansion of the Family Preschool (currently in its pilot year and partially funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Boeing Company) for deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing children and the start-up of the Speech Language Preschool for children with speech and/or cognitive challenges. In addition, the campaign includes a literacy lab for children, ages three through eighteen, with learning disabilities, facility accessibility improvements and the creation of an endowment to fund uncompensated care for children for years to come.

Celebrating its 70th Anniversary, the Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center, a nonprofit organization, is taking the next step to prepare children in the Puget Sound, ages birth to five, for school success by building out 3,000 square feet of unfinished space in its facility built in 2002 for the new preschools and a literacy lab. The early learning preschool program will provide a continuum of communication services to prepare and keep children with special needs in school.

Incorporated in 1937, the Hearing Speech & Deafness Center’s mission is to strengthen community by promoting effective communication. The Center’s diagnostic, educational and treatment programs rest on 70 years of understanding the personal and community needs of Deaf, Deaf-Blind, hard of hearing and other communication challenged people, and the changing technologies available to them. HSDC’s vision is that all people realize their full communication potential. The Center achieves this by joining direct services with systemic change to create an inclusive and accessible community.

HSDC’s comprehensive services span the life cycle (infants through seniors) and include Audiology, Speech, Language & Learning programs and therapy, Early Childhood Education (through the nationally recognized Parent-Infant Program), Advocacy services, and assistive listening technology through The Store @ HSDC.

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