Communication Matters

Happy Birthday Helen Newell Garfield

Sharon Dundee | Posted on January 13, 2021


Happy Birthday!

Helen Newell Garfield_Retouched Color versionOn February 12th, we celebrate the birthday of Helen Newell Garfield, daughter-in-law of President James A. Garfield.  After losing her hearing as young woman, Helen discovered a grave lack of resources and support available to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. She established the Cleveland Association for the Hard of Hearing in 1921, which would eventually become the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC).  In addition, Helen founded the Lake Erie School of Speech Reading and advocated for lip reading classes in Cleveland Public Schools. She was convinced then, as we are today, that communication access is key to living and functioning independently in society.

Her Legacy Lives On

Over the years, CHSC expanded it services and programs to include Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting Services and a Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to meet the growing demand of better communication for everyone. CHSC also expanded its locations beyond University Circle in Cleveland to include Broadview Heights, Westlake and Lyndhurst. Helen Newell Garfield’s legacy lives on as the CHSC staff helps thousands of individuals every year to communicate effectively.

The Helen Newell Garfield Society

Many people share Helen Newell Garfield’s vision, and support the success of Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center through generous contributions. The Helen Newell Garfield Society was established in 1991 to honor individual donors whose cumulative contributions exceed $10,000, and corporate/foundation donors exceeding $25,000. For more information on how to support the programs and services at CHSC, please visit

Tags: Audiology, Communication, Hearing, Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss



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