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Old 01-07-2012, 02:20 AM   #1
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Berks Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

Berks Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

2045 Centre Ave.

What we do: We provide advocacy, hearing aid assistance, hearing aid repair assistance, free hearing screenings, information and referral, interpreting services, a monthly newsletter, personal assistance, American sign language classes, a deaf and hard of hearing-related library, social activities and educational programs to individuals in Berks and surrounding counties.

History: In 1964, Margaret Danowski learned that her 6-year-old daughter had hearing loss. Three years later, she and a local audiologist started meetings for parents of children with speech and hearing problems and professionals working with them. In 1968, the organization, the Berks County Association for the Hearing Impaired Inc., became a nonprofit. It's first project was to open a preschool for deaf children at the First Presbyterian Church in Reading. We now receive financial assistance from the Berks County Area Agency on Aging for our hearing aid financial assistance program. We also are funded by United Way of Berks County.

Serves: We serve more than 7,000 individuals and families in Berks County.

Current budget: $1 million.

Staff: We have seven full-time and two part-time employees.

Top administrator: President Kandy Reyes has been with the agency for 19 years.

We're most proud of: We are proud that our founder, Margaret Danowski, with the help of the late Sen. Michael O'Pake, was able to bring to the forefront the rights of the deaf and hard of hearing and create new laws. These laws have granted the deaf and hard of hearing accessibility as fully participating members of society. We are proud that we are able to continue to serve the needs of the deaf, hard of hearing and hearing individuals in Berks County.

Upcoming events: All of our events are open to the public. On Feb. 14 we will have a workshop on controlling cholesterol and blood pressure for a healthy heart. On March 13 we will have a workshop on new nutritional guidelines, and on April 24 we'll host a workshop on hip, knee and foot problems. All events are from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in our Reading office. There also are monthly family events. Our annual healthy hearing expo will be held May 9 from 1 to 5 p.m., in honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month.

How to get involved: Call 610-685-4520 , visit us, or visit our website for more information.

Website: BDHHS - Berks Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services.
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."
- Helen Keller
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