Chicago Hearing Society: 2022-2023

Washington Square Health Foundation provided a grant to support the Chicago Hearing Society (CHS) audiology clinic to ensure patients have the best possible hearing health care.

CHS is a leader in advocacy and services for people who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing throughout Illinois. CHS serves people who would otherwise have no place to turn: from ASL interpreter services, to domestic violence assistance, to youth services, ASL classes, an audiology clinic, and more. CHS bridges the gap between the Deaf and hearing communities. Studies show that audiology clinics and hearing aid dispensers only serve 20% of people who could benefit from hearing aids—and cost is often the biggest barrier. CHS aims to change this by providing hearing aids to patients on Medicaid.

Washington Square’s gift allowed CHS to update their latest audiology testing equipment for improved assessments and better patient outcomes. The testing confirms that patients will receive hearing aid fittings based upon their individual needs. CHS patients’ hearing aids are fit to evidence-based prescriptions rather than simulated prescriptions. This has a huge impact on patients like Carolyn, who received customized hearing aids free of charge because of CHS’s generous donors.

Carolyn, a vibrant Chicago native with a heart full of laughter and a love for life spent nine years in a career she cherished. It wasn’t until her daughter and grandchildren repeatedly pointed out her struggle to hear that she confronted the harsh reality of her hearing loss. “I was in denial,” she admitted.

CHS was the beacon of hope for Carolyn. The dedicated staff at CHS made the process seamless. In just two appointments, Carolyn walked out with her new hearing aids. “Everything sounds so much better and clearer.” Carolyn received her hearing aids at no cost, a lifeline she never thought possible.
Grateful for the donors and CHS, she shared, “Without CHS, I wouldn’t have hearing aids today. They’ve helped change my life and I am so excited to feel like myself again!” CHS provides the best possible services to its over 1,900 patients each year.