I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to work at the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC). This is a nearly 100 year old organization that provides hearing, speech, and Deaf services, support and advocacy, to the Northeast Ohio community regardless of their ability to pay. CHSC serves every member of the community and focuses on communication effectiveness and making every connection possible. Effective communication is so important in our lives and I’m glad that I have the opportunity to work for an organization that has continuously worked to ensure that everyone is able to communicate.
I currently work at CHSC as the Development Coordinator. This really means that I do a little bit of everything. I like to think of it as a little bit like being the utility player for a baseball team. I get the opportunity to learn about and work in a lot of the different functions of a development department, annual fund, grants, and special events. I have been able to work with program managers across the organization to learn more about our various programs and implement development strategies. I’ve also helped to plan and execute our annual benefit that has seen more than 275 guests and raised more than $78,000.
The best part of my job is being the staff liaison for the young professional Associate Board, the New Partners of the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center. This is a group of 20 individuals working to help advance the mission and programs of CHSC through both service activities and fundraising events. Each year, the New Partners plan and execute a major fundraiser for the organization known as the Cleveland Big Wheel Relay. This is a super fun event that raises both funds and awareness for the organization. Each year, we gather 32 teams of 4 racers each that dress up in various themed costumes and compete in a tournament style relay race on adult sized big wheels. They create a fun filled day where people can watch the races and enjoy snacks and drinks from local food trucks. In the past 6 years, the New Partners have helped to raise more than $178,000 through this event! This year, the event will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 in Tremont, if you would like to learn more about the event you can visit www.chsc.org/bigwheelrelay
Working at the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center has also given me the opportunity to learn about different communication styles. I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with Deaf staff members and learn American Sign Language (ASL). While I am by no means fluent, I have been able to learn some basic words to be able to get to know my co-workers and be more welcoming to our clients. This has also opened my eyes to some of the challenges that people who struggle with communication might face every day. At CHSC, we work hard to make sure that every event or meeting that we host or attend is accessible for everyone whether that means ensuring that things are captioned or there is an interpreter present.
It is exactly this concept that we will be focusing on at the Open Meeting on March 19th. Dr. Maria O’Neil Ruddock will be joining us to share more about the importance inclusivity in the city and in all of our organizations.
Want to learn more about the unique work done at the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center? Join us on March 19 at our Cleveland Cares open meeting.