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As of September 1, 2003, Seattle Diversity Works! (SDW) will become a program of the Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center (HSDC).

Since its founding in 1996, Seattle Diversity Works! has provided deaf awareness trainings, workshops, and on-site sign language classes to more than 250 Northwest businesses and organizations. As part of its mission to assist companies in becoming “deaf friendly,” SDW developed its highly acclaimed, two-part workshop series – “Working Together I & II: Deaf & Hearing People.” The goal of these and many other SDW trainings has been to both create workplaces where deaf employees can be maximally productive and respected as well as to foster corporate environments where deaf consumers are truly welcomed and receive “deaf friendly” customer service. Over the years, SDW has worked closely with numerous private and public organizations including: Microsoft Corporation, Starbucks Coffee Company, United Parcel Service, SAFECO Insurance, City of Seattle, State of Washington, US Navy, US Forest Service, and many others.

The Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center, a nonprofit agency that has been providing services to businesses and individuals since 1937, specializes in accommodation issues for hard of hearing, deaf and speech challenged individuals in the State of Washington. Having moved into a new facility in 2003, the United Way funded agency has expanded its education and outreach to include training and assistance for the community and businesses to employ and serve the 20% of Puget Sound population that experience a communication challenge.

The acquisition of Seattle Diversity Works! will allow the Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center to further expand its services and advocacy. With a commitment to carry on the quality services developed and delivered by Seattle Diversity Works!, HSDC will work to broaden awareness and accommodations throughout the private and public sectors.

“This is a perfect match”, said Seattle Diversity Works! Owner, Sara Geballe. “I look forward to working with HSDC to ensure a smooth transition and the growth of both of these fine programs.”

For further information, contact Susie Burdick at the Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center or Sara Geballe at Seattle Diversity Works!

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