About CHSC

Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) has a long and remarkable history of helping individuals with communication challenges become independent members of the Greater Cleveland Community. Founded in 1921 by Helen Newell Garfield, daughter-in-law of President James Garfield, who lost her hearing as a young woman, CHSC started with the simple mission of providing lip-reading classes for adults who are deaf or hard of hearing.

We are the nation's oldest hearing and speech center and Northeast Ohio's only nonprofit organization dedicated solely to serving those with special communication needs. CHSC consistently serves thousands of children and adults each year through the following programs and services:  HearingCommunity Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Speech-Language and Learning. The Center also oversees the management of the Early Intervention Program.

A staff of more than 50 professionals — audiologists, sign language interpreters, speech-language pathologists, outreach specialists, and administrative staff — are employed at the Center's locations in University Circle, Lyndhurst,  Westlake, and Broadview Heights.

Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center also has a 70+ year affiliation with Case Western Reserve University's Department of Psychological Sciences.

Our Mission

Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center provides speech-language, hearing, language interpreting, and Deaf services. We advocate for equal access to information and communication and value all individuals' language choices equally. 

Our Vision 

A community where every person can communicate effectively.


Core Values

Diversity & Inclusion

At Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, diversity matters and we welcome the broad array of diversity in the Northeast Ohio community to which we belong.  

  • We value the visible and invisible qualities and abilities that make a person who they are. 
  • We welcome the unique perspectives and experiences that every person has. 
  • We believe that every person in our community should have equal access to information. 
  • We strive to make diversity, equity, and inclusion practices a common element of our daily work. 
  • We commit to using these practices for our employees, our clients, our community partners, our volunteers, and our donors. 
  • Join us in embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion for every person in our community. 

We are a person-centered organization and are committed to providing the highest quality services. We serve and honor individuals of all backgrounds, abilities, and resource levels and we strive to continuously expand our diversity. We are a workforce that represents our values by promoting and respecting the communication preferences of staff of every race, culture, age, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and religion.   


  • We employ a holistic approach when serving our clients.
  • We respect all modes of communication and support a person's right to choose his or her preferred mode of communication.
  • We do not discriminate on the basis of ability to pay.


  • We vigorously pursue and follow best practices.
  • We encourage responsible risk-taking in program development, administration, and service delivery.
  • We constantly strive for creative solutions in all we do.
  • We research and employ the most current technology to facilitate communication for our clients and within our staff/teams.


  • We provide the highest quality of services.
  • We measure our success by the outcomes or results attained.
  • We seek to be leaders in all that we do.


  • We are accountable to the highest professional practice standards.
  • We are guided by trust, honesty, and ethical conduct.
  • We strive for consistency between our words and our deeds.
  • We are CARF accredited.

Fiscally Responsible

  • We value a wise and efficient use of resources.
  • We take a long-term view of the financial needs of the organization.
  • We are vigilant stewards of donor contributions.
  • We ensure that new initiatives and ongoing operations have adequate funding.

Environmental Sustainability

  • We have built and will continue to operate our primary facility as a LEED Silver building.
  • We value individual and organizational behaviors that minimize our impact on the environment.
  • We will conserve energy and other resources and recycle materials whenever possible.
  • We will employ technology and other strategies to minimize environmental impact. 


LEED Building Design

On October 19, 2010, the USGBC's Green Building Certification Institute completed its final review and officially awarded CHSC LEED Silver certification for the University Circle building.

What is LEED?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created LEED as a rating system for green buildings.

Green building refers to the design, construction, and operation of buildings in an environmentally friendly way. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The rating system is specific to the type of project. Some of the specific programs are LEED-New Construction, LEED-Existing Buildings, LEED-Commercial Interiors, LEED-Core and Shell, LEED-Homes, LEED-Neighborhood Development, and LEED-Schools. The rating systems are broken down into points for each type of credit.

Certification levels within the systems are:

  • Minimum points: Certified
  • Second-highest points: Silver
  • Third-highest points: Gold
  • Maximum points: Platinum

New Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center LEED Highlights

  • Our decision to build on Euclid Avenue in University Circle put CHSC on a predeveloped site with close access to neighborhoods, amenities, and public transportation.
  • Efficient use of green space: The small amount of landscaping requires no irrigation system.
  • Cost-effective plumbing fixtures use 45 percent less water than typical fixtures.
  • The building is designed to be 27.5 percent more efficient than required.
  • During the construction process, high volumes of construction waste were recycled, with a target minimum of 75 percent diverted from landfills.
  • The wood used in the construction was FSC-certified.
  • The interior building materials meet or exceed LEED required indoor air quality standards.

For more information, check out the USGBC website.