Celebrating 40 Years of Service
"From the moment I arrived, it was like coming home... I owe so much to the families who shared their lives with me. We learned together. As a Board member, I take delight in the many ways in which HASA serves the community. It is a glorious world."
Miriam Zadek joined the staff of The Hearing and Speech Agency in June 1975 to develop a social work model of intervention with families where a child had a problem in communication. She founded The Centralized Interpreter Referral Service (CIRS) in 1986 and has been involved as a volunteer since 1994. We asked Miriam a few questions about her 40-year history with the organization.
In what way were you already familiar with communication differences?
I grew up with two deaf sisters. Deafness now extends over three more generations in my family, so I know the vital importance of appropriate communication. We communicate via sign, lip reading, text and email.
How is HASA different today?
In those days, HASA offered only auditory-oral programs for the hearing impaired, along with interventions for children and adults with other communicative disorders.
What about your time at HASA makes you most proud?
I am most gratified that I was able to initiate an interpreter service for the deaf, an expansion of support programs for those who were hard of hearing and recognition that all avenues for effective communication were important.
You can read more in her blog www.gertalert.wordpress.com.