Who We Are
In 1972, Lillian Hoshauer, a Deaf woman, and other committed individuals, including Doris Stettler and April Nelson, founded the Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre, Inc. (DHCC) for the purposes of promoting communication access and cultural awareness. Over the years, DHCC moved to various locations in Delaware County before settling in Swarthmore, PA in 2002.
DHCC is a non-profit organization and serves the tri-state area encompassing: Southeastern Pennsylvania (including Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties), lower Lehigh counties, northern Delaware, and southern New Jersey.
DHCC accomplishes our mission through communication access services, education and advocacy. Our communication services include sign language interpreting and CART (real-time captioning). Our education services include ASL classes, sensitivity training and workshops. We advocate for individuals to help them gain communication access to services, businesses, educational institutions and their own places of employment.
DHCC is the best place to learn about and obtain equal communication access. As mentioned, we offer a variety of services to bridge the communication gap between the Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities. We are honored to be the longest serving and highly respected sign language interpreting service in the region and the first organization to provide, an on-call Emergency Sign Language Interpreting Service for police and hospital emergencies. We also created the Community Interpreting Program (CIP) for our DHCC members to help them get discounted rates for non-ADA family and social events, such as weddings, family reunions, and baby showers.
Our sign language interpreters are certified professionals who are thoroughly screened prior to working with our customers. Our interpreters have worked with prestigious individuals including: Mayor Jim Kenney, Former Mayor Michael Nutter, Governor Ed Rendell, Former President Barack Obama, Former Vice-President Joseph Biden, Former President Bill Clinton, Former President George H. Bush, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Ed Sheeran, Garth Brooks, Lisa Thomas-Laury, The Indigo Girls, Robin Williams, U2’s Bono, Maya Angelou, and well-known Deaf performer, Trix Bruce.
Mission and Goals
To promote equal communication accessibility and cultural awareness to the deaf, hard of hearing and hearing populations by providing quality communication services, advocacy and educational programs.
Download our Current Annual Report
Download our Annual Report for 2016/2017
Download our Annual Report for 2016/2017 (Large Print/ScreenReader Version)
Strategic Planning Goals
DHCC completed a strategic planning process to review our programs and services and to build a roadmap for the organization’s future growth and development.
With the input of Board members, staff and deaf, hard of hearing and hearing individuals who used or would use our services, we identified the most important areas of focus.
The following are the six major goals:
- Strengthen Governance and Leadership
- Increase Visibility and Public Awareness
- Enhance Programs and Services to Respond to the Changing Needs of Constituents
- Develop Long-Term Financial Sustainability
- Nurture and Support Human Resource Development
- Build Technology Capacity to Enhance Service Delivery and Infrastructure
In January 2012, DHCC conducted a stakeholder survey and held a Board and management staff retreat to review and update the organization’s strategic plan for 2008 – 2013. The Board and management staff affirmed the six strategic goals in the plan and reviewed the accomplishments to date. Many objectives were met while others require ongoing actions or were deemed less of a priority. The retreat participants identified new priorities for consideration based on previous achievements, lessons learned, and changing community needs. The following are the new strategic priorities that when combined with existing priorities, should focus Board and staff decisions, actions and resource allocations until the creation of a new five-year plan for 2013 – 2017.
DHCC offers a variety of services. Below you will find a brief overview of our services; click the links for detailed service descriptions.
Sign Language Interpreting Services
- Interpreting Services
DHCC provides interpreting services to facilitate communication for Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing people by using qualified, professional sign language interpreters.
- Emergency Interpreter Service (EIS)
DHCC has the first and longest serving on-call emergency interpreter service in the Delaware Valley for medical and/or police emergencies during non-business hours. One coordinator and 4 interpreters are on call each night, weekend or holiday for a quick response.
- Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)
DHCC coordinates Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), which is the provision of sign language interpreting through the use of video conferencing technology. The parties that need to communicate are in the same location, and the interpreter is connected remotely.
- Community Interpreting Program (CIP)
DHCC provides ASL interpreters at a discount rate for non-ADA covered, one-time family and social events such as weddings, baby showers and reunions. The service is for DHCC members only.
Education and Outreach
- Sign Language Classes
DHCC offers American Sign Language (ASL) classes through community, corporate and private one-on-one classes.
- Sensitivity Training
DHCC offers on-site sensitivity trainings that cover a variety of topics including the impact of hearing loss, equal communication access services, communication strategies and Deaf Culture awareness.
DHCC offers workshops for different purposes and different target groups, including Deaf and hard of hearing consumers, hearing customers and interpreters. Workshops topics include “How to Advocate for Communication Access”, “How to Use an Interpreter” and “Interpreting in Court”.
- Outreach Services
DHCC Outreach Services include visits to groups of Deaf and hard of hearing students, seniors, adults and family members to provide information about communication access and advocacy; participating on Committees and Coalitions to share information and/or work for change; networking with Deaf and hard of hearing organizations; and having exhibits at major conferences and events about DHCC.
- CART (Real-Time Captioning)
CART (or Real-time captioning) uses qualified captioners with specialized equipment to print a word for word version of spoken language on a laptop computer, TV monitor or overhead screen. DHCC arranges this service.
DHCC advocates to organizations such as government, medical providers, courts, businesses and social services for equal communication access on behalf of Deaf and hard of hearing consumers.
- Information and Referral
DHCC provides information about community services and resources that can provide assistance to Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing individuals.
Not pictured: Cumberland and Lehigh Counties
Primary Service Area
Includes the following counties:
Delaware County, PA
Bucks County, PA
Chester County, PA
Montgomery County, PA
Philadelphia County, PA
Camden County, NJ
Gloucester County, NJ
Burlington County, NJ
New Castle County, DE
Secondary Service Area
Includes the following counties:
Mercer County, NJ
Salem County, NJ
Cumberland County, NJ
Lehigh County, PA
Berks County, PA
DHCC will review your service needs in other locations in the Tri-State region. We may be able to serve you or will refer you to another service.