Savannah Speech & Hearing Center, a nonprofit organization committed to providing comprehensive services to children and adults with speech, language, and/or hearing problems in the Savannah area, celebrated their 65th anniversary with staff, board members and community supporters at a reception held at Cohen’s Retreat.
Responding to a need in the community to provide services to those with speech and hearing issues as well as physical challenges, SSHC was chartered in 1954 as the Rehabilitation Center of Savannah. The Center initially operated as a general rehabilitation facility offering services in speech, hearing, occupational and physical therapy. Soon after, the name was changed to the Clair Henderson
Memorial Rehabilitation Center in honor of Dr. Claire Henderson, a county health official and one of the original proponents of the center. In 1964, the physical and occupational therapy programs were moved to Memorial Hospital and the Center became a speech and hearing service organization and the name was changed to Savannah Speech and Hearing Center, Inc.
The Junior League of Savannah and the United Community Chest, which would later be known as the United Way of the Coastal Empire, were instrumental in the early success of the Center. In 1984, a Capital Campaign was launched to renovate and expand the existing building. In 2007, the center opened Sound Start – an auditory/ oral program for deaf and hard of hearing children ages 2 – 6 years of age. The goal of Sound Start is to teach children who are deaf to listen, speak and understand spoken language in order to be a success in a regular education setting.
The center recently broke ground on a new state of the art center, which will allow the expansion of services in the community.