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About CHS


On January 23, 1916, a group of about 30 hard of hearing individuals and teachers of the deaf met for the first time and organized under the name Chicago League for the Hard of Hearing. The group was led by Rose Dickinson and Gertrude Torrey, who modeled the organization after leagues that had been founded a few years earlier in Boston and New York.

The League incorporated as a nonprofit agency on May 6, 1916. Its original purposes were:

1. Promotion of social intercourse among the membership.

2. Assistance for the deaf and hard of hearing in the matter of procuring and retaining employment.

3. Promotion of an interest in lip-reading.

4. Aiding and furthering in each and every way possible helpful work among the deaf and hard of hearing.

In 1918, Miss Torrey wrote, "The most difficult and most important part of our work is finding employment for our applicants." In addition to job placement, the League's early programs included lip-reading classes and social activities to alleviate the isolation often imposed by hearing loss.

Learn more about our history

The beginnings and the Great Depression

Wartime growth and the birth of "Chicago Hearing Society"

Continued public outreach and the first lessons in American Sign Language

Financial prosperity, program growth and a major merger

CHS in the new millenium



Anixter Center Holds Toy & Furniture Sale Saturday, March 3, 2018

Free Admission; Nearly 1,000 Items on Sale Chicago, Ill. (Jan. 24, 2018) — A large selection of toys, books, games and office furniture will go on sale 9 am to 2 pm Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Anixter Center, 2032 N. Clybourn Ave., in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The toy sale features... Read more

Anixter Center to Honor Alexander Pissios at its 2018 Gala on May 3

7th Annual Benefit to Be Held at Stage 18 Chicago Chicago, Illinois – (Jan. 12, 2018) — Anixter Center, a leading nonprofit in the Chicago area serving people with disabilities, will roll out the red carpet as it honors Alexander Pissios at its 2018 Gala on Thursday, May 3. Themed “Sharing Strengths, Building... Read more

Anixter Center Names Rebecca Clark President & CEO

Chicago, Ill. (Dec. 27, 2017) — Rebecca Clark has been tapped to be the next CEO & President of Anixter Center. Nearly 100 years old, Anixter Center is an experienced leader in serving people of all ages with disabilities. Clark first joined the venerable nonprofit in 2015 as the Vice President... Read more


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1444 W. Willow St.  |  Chicago, IL 60642  |  (773) 248-9121  |  (773) 248-9174 (TTY)  |  (708) 575-4841 (Fax)
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