About The Hearing and Speech Foundation

Our Mission

We empower individuals with hearing and communication deficits, including those with limited financial resources, to live their lives to the fullest.

We fulfill our mission through the following programs:

The Hearing and Speech Foundation (HSF) began in 1978 as a philanthropic endeavor by founders Tutt Bradford and John Berry (pictured left). By 1981, the Foundation was officially incorporated and began providing assistance with hearing aids and services to people in Blount County, Tennessee.

Our History

The vision of the Foundation quickly grew to include training for professionals in the Verbotonal Method. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, certified Verbotonal trainers with HSF helped establish Verbotonal therapy programs in the following areas:

  • Mississippi School for the Deaf
  • Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
  • New York League for Hard of Hearing (renamed Center for Hearing and Communications)
  • Dade County School System in Miami, Florida
  • School Systems in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Wade County, N.C.; Jessup, Ga.; and Sedalia, Missouri

By 1999, our domestic hearing aid assistance program expanded to include services to over 20 East Tennessee counties. In that same year, we partnered with the Caribbean Christian Centers for the Deaf to provide hearing aids and services to deaf children in Jamaica through our Jamaica Mission Project.

The research program began in 2003 with a generous grant from the Fluor Foundation and long-time supporters Alan Boeckmann and Judy Boeckmann. The primary goal of this program is to measure the physical properties of speech and relate those to auditory speech perception in hearing impaired individuals to help advance the field of hearing and speech science.

The Hearing and Speech Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Maryville, Tennessee. Our work is made possible by the generosity of our community of donors and grant makers.Our community of donors helps support our work through individuals donations and fundraising events. If you have any questions about our programs or wish to get involved, please email us.

Add your voice to the sound of support!

Please donate to continue empowering individuals with communication deficits to live their lives to the fullest.