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History of Communication Service for the Deaf

CSD History

In 1960, a massive storm roared through South Dakota, and destroyed Ben Sr.’s farm. He needed a bank loan to rebuild the family farm, so he went to every bank in town. They all turned him down for one reason only: he was Deaf. Ben Sr. lost his farm and was forced to move his entire family.

The experience of seeing his father’s heartbreak stayed with Benjamin Soukup for the rest of his life. In 1975, Ben started Communication Service for the Deaf that Deaf people could lead better, more fulfilling lives. More importantly, Ben did not want any other deaf child to experience what he did.

Since CSD started providing advocacy and communication programs such as interpreting and relay, the opportunities that deaf and hard of hearing people have available to them have greatly expanded. We now have entitlement programs and legislative mandates. Many services and technologies exist to break down communication barriers that did not exist when the storm hit Ben’s family farm.

It would be almost understandable to declare a “good enough’ victory, but much more is possible. The world is rapidly becoming more virtual, with technology woven into the fabric of every part of lives. The solutions of an earlier generation were legislative mandates and entitlement programs.

The solutions for a new generation are scalability and sustainability through universal design and job creation. CSD works to achieve that through One World.

Ben Soukup and his father
Ben Soukup chats with CSD employees in his office
Ben Soukup signs in front of news cameras

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