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100 Anniversary Website Picture

Photograph: Proclaiming the month of May to be Better Hearing and Speech Month and recognizing RHSC’s work in the community – in 1972. Certificate signed by Steve May, Rochester Mayor, with Dr. Irwin Brown.

Celebrating 100 Years – People –  Places – Partnerships


Rochester Hearing and Speech Center is celebrating an important milestone in 2022 — 100 years as a growing and successful non-profit agency serving the Greater Rochester area and surrounding communities.


Throughout 2022, the agency will recognize our #centennialjourney by focusing on what makes us unique — the people, places, and partnerships.

Save The Date: Roaring Twenties Centennial Gala

  • Saturday, September 10th at Locust Hill Country Club

  • More Info: Click Here


James Anderson | RHSC Client and Current Member of the Board of Directors


We’re delighted to welcome James Anderson to our Board of Directors, the first client to serve in such a capacity. Jim received speech-language therapy at seven years of age and returned in his 70s to address his hearing health concerns. 


“Today, with great joy and enduring gratitude to all those who helped me over the years, including Dr. Brown, Miss Collins, and Mr. Stone of the RHSC, I can say that I am as fluent as I have ever been in my life.” - James Anderson

Sally Clapp | RHSC Board Member and Chair from 1957-1971

In 2012, Rochester Hearing and Speech Center paid tribute to Sally Clapp. Sally served on the Board of Directors from 1957 until 1971; she held the Board Chair position in 1969 and 1970. Following her Board term, Sally continued to be a a pivotal part of the agency's growth and has played a role in who we are today - 100 years later! A plague dedicated to Sally's memory and her passion-led leadership still hangs outside our Early Intervention Developmental Group room today.


The 2012 TRIBUTE READS......


Rochester Hearing and Speech Center's history and Sally's career were intertwined from the start. As a young social worker, she worked for Mildred Mason at Strong Memorial Hospital in the early 1950's.


Mildred recommended Sally for the RHSC board in 1957. It was her first board and she credits her time with RHSC as critical training in the leadership skills that she would employ with many other boards in the future.


During her time as chair, RHSC broke precedent and opened the first hearing aid dispensing program in Rochester, staffed exclusively with licensed and certified audiologists rather than vendor-trained sales people.


Sally's leadership skills were only outshone by her generosity. 

Her preference was always for gifts that would provide materials and equipment that would have a direct and lasting impact on children. 


Self-described as a stay-at-home mom to her two children, 

Sally still managed to expand her philanthropic and leadership activities to other nonprofit agencies such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Rochester School for the Deaf, and Crestwood Children's Center. 


Working with Sally was a bit like trying to keep lightning in a bottle. Her whole being, which crackled with energy and decisiveness, made you sit up and listen. RHSC was and remains honored to have had someone with such dedication to children take an interest and an active part in our history and our future. 




John Paris | Executive Director, RHSC from 1978-1990

On Thursday, May 12, 2022, Rochester Hearing and Speech Center remembered John Paris, former Executive Director from 1978 to 1990, by rededicating a garden; located in the front parking lot of the Al Sigl building on Elmwood Avenue. Our friends from First American Equipment Finance helped clean, plant, and mulch this special place.


John's family joined us, in addition to a few former staff members who worked for and loved him, which made for a lovely reunion.

Rachel Robach | RHSC Client Since the Age of Three

Bob Russell, RHSC President & CEO, spoke with Dino Kay about our 100th Anniversary celebration on Stephens Media Group's public affair show, "Rochester Speaks" — featured on Fickle 93.3, Warm 101.3, and 94.1 The Zone! Special guest Rachel Robach, an RHSC client, joined the conversation to share her hearing health and speech-language journey during her time from a young age to adulthood.

Listen Now - Click Here


We proudly serve the Greater Rochester, New York area and surrounding communities with three locations in Rochester/Brighton, Greece, and Webster.

  • City of Rochester:

    • RHSC began in 1922 when Alice Howe Hatton, a lip-reading teacher in the Rochester Pubic Schools, organized the first meeting of the League of the Hard of Hearing. 

      • The League provided education, recreational and vocational to hearing impaired adults and children.​

    • First office opened in 1928 on Monroe Avenue.

    • Moved to current location in the Al Sigl Center
      on Elmwood Avenue in 1968.

    • Member of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce

  • Greece

  • Webster:

    • Current location opened on Ridge Road in 2007.


  • Eastman Theatre & School of Music opens to the Public. 

  • First stop and go traffic lights installed
    in Rochester.

  • Rochester Hearing and Speech Center
    was born.

RHSC History - Click Here

Quotation Mark

You will get my undivided attention, my best understanding of your problem, and my guarantee to work with you to find solutions.

Peter Hixson

Peter K. Hixson

Former President & CEO (1991-2007)


Peter passed in 2007 and left a lasting legacy.

His devoted quote to serve our community is still on every RHSC employee badge to this day.

Celebrating 100 Years
RHSC 100 Years logo


  • RHSC Partners with the Monroe County Dept. of Public Health for 2022

  • An Al Sigl Community Member Agency since 1968

  • Rochester's Choice Award Winner (Democrat and Chronicle)

    • Best Hearing Aid Center​

    • 14-time winner, most recently in 2021



  • Roaring Twenties Centennial Gala: Saturday, September 10th

  • Al Sigl WalkAbout: Saturday, October, 23rd

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