Historical Timeline

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Historical Timeline

The Center for Hearing and Communication has a rich and enduring history rooted in vision and leadership.  We're proud to have been at the forefront of so many innovations in the hearing healthcare field since our inception in 1910.  

As we celebrate our 100th year, we renew our commitment to improving the quality of life for infants, children and adults with hearing loss. Our doors remain open to everyone seeking clinical expertise and compassionate care. We empower individuals to achieve their full potential and assure a world without limits for all people with hearing loss.

Please check out these achievements in our history that so profoundly impacted countless families living with the challenges of hearing loss.  Be assured we move into the future more vital and relevant than ever.


Previous 1910 1918 1925 1927 1937 1939 1972 1996 2005 2009 Next

1910: A Sound Start

Edward B Nitchieto

Our nonprofit organization is founded under the name Nitchie Service League, Inc. (later to become League for the Hard of Hearing) by educator Edward B. Nitchie to improve the quality of life for people of all ages with hearing loss. That mission continues to drive us today. By offering the highest level of clinical expertise and compassionate care, we empower individuals to achieve their full potential and assure a world without limits for all people with hearing loss.

1918: A Different Kind of Reading

Lip Reading

The “League,” as we are known at this time, meets the needs of people with hearing loss through new and innovative services including lipreading instruction and employment services. To this day, the Center for Hearing and Communication provides speech and language therapy and instruction for lipreading, now referred to as speechreading, to empower individuals to overcome communication barriers.

1925: Amplifying the Possibilities

Amplified Theater

The first theater is wired with assistive listening devices to make our annual meetings and special events accessible. During the 1925 annual meeting, speakers were given wires through which their voices were amplified to the audience. With this new technology, many people who could not hear the meetings in the past were now part of the action. Today, all of our meetings and events are fully accessible with real-time captioning, infrared listening systems, and sign language interpreters.

1927: A New Test in School

Hearing Survey in NYC Public School

The “League” conducts a hearing survey – the first of its kind – in NYC public schools. For the first time, New York City schools require hearing tests to identify hearing loss at a younger age. Today, through Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, newborn babies are screened for hearing loss before they leave the hospital. The Center for Hearing and Communication encourages parents to monitor their children’s hearing, speech and language developmental milestones in the event hearing loss develops after birth.

1937: Starting Young

Children Hearing Therapy

We initiate what is now a common practice of hearing and speech therapy for children under the age of five. Even then we know that a child is never too young to begin communication therapy. The sooner treatment begins, the better the child’s chances are of developing successful speech, language and comprehension. Today, at the Shelley and Steven Einhorn Communication Center, you’ll find babies as young as six weeks fit with amplification and engaged in successful communication therapy.

1939: The First Lady

Eleanor Roosevelt Visits the League

Eleanor Roosevelt visits our Manhattan office, beginning a long association (shown here in 1951 visit). The Roosevelts were passionate supporters of the "League" and National Hearing Week. FDR even wrote acknowledgement letters to the organization for annual campaigns and events. Commending our participation in National Hearing Week, President Roosevelt expressed his "most sincere best wishes for the success of (their) efforts."

1972: On the Move

Mobile Hearing Test Unit

Our first mobile testing unit hits NYC streets offering free hearing screenings to the public. The mobile units send a message throughout the city that hearing screenings should be part of everyone’s overall health maintenance plan and give people access to hearing screenings right in their neighborhood. Today, these mobile units also travel to preschools, health fairs, and senior centers, providing screenings to approximately 10,000 New Yorkers a year.

1996: The Noise Heard 'Round the World

International Noise Awareness Day

The “League” launches the first annual International Noise Awareness Day, calling attention to the dangers of long-term exposure to noise. During the course of the day, hearing screenings, information sessions, and public service announcements are just a few of the activities conducted to raise awareness of the harmful effects of noise. After 14 years International Noise Awareness Day has truly become a global phenomenon, attracting the participation of more than 50 countries.

2005: The PATH to Healthy Hearing

Preschool Parents

Project PATH (Preschool Access to Hearing) is launched, providing hearing healthcare to underserved NYC preschoolers. This program provides hearing screenings to children in preschool, identifying any child who may have an undiagnosed hearing loss and making recommendations to parents and teachers. 26% of all children screened fail the hearing test and require further follow-up. To date, more than 13,000 preschoolers have been screened with approximately 3,500 referred for follow up services.

2009: Launch of "Listening Studio"

The Listening Studio

Under our new name, Center for Hearing and Communication, we launch the Listening Studio, a unique resource that enables people to get the most from their hearing aids.

The Listening Studio is an audio and video installation acoustically designed to simulate an array of real-life listening environments. Working in this unique setting, audiologists at the Center for Hearing and Communication can provide people with the opportunity to maximize the benefit they obtain from their hearing aids. Hearing aid settings can be fine-tuned to maximize performance in real-world situations including the classroom, a noisy city street and a subway platform. In total more than 500 scenarios can be simulated to help consumers hear better at home, at school and when they’re on the go.