Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (Austin, TX)


  • Name:Robert Siebert
  • Title:Proposal Writer

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.
  • Address:200 West Cesar Chavez
    Ste 650
    Austin, TX 78741
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:5123612998

Organization Web

User Email


Click map for a full size active view.


  • Mission:
  • Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) is committed to changing how deaf and hard of hearing people communicate and interact with the world.

    We create stronger deaf and hard of hearing communities through people, ideas, and technology. As the largest global Deaf-led nonprofit, we work with organizations and communities to empower deaf and hard of hearing individuals by creating greater opportunities for them to reach their full potential.

    National Programs is the human services branch of CSD. National Programs believes in a world that can support every deaf and hard of hearing person in improving their lives. We promote personal, educational, and workforce successes by removing communication and accessibility barriers to ensure deaf and hard of hearing people are able to fully participate and succeed within society and the workforce.

  • Overview:
  • National Programs

    Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) has a long history of providing effective direct human services to deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing people (a population group referred to collectively as ‘deaf’ in this application for brevity) in the United States. Our first human service program opened nearly 40 years ago in Sioux Falls, SD. Today the National Programs, the human services branch of CSD, operates state-level programs in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. An estimated 4,000 people a year benefit from our state programs’ direct services, including adult basic education, anti-violence advocacy, and community support. Through our personal connection and intimate understanding of the deaf community, we have demonstrated an exceptional ability to deliver culturally and linguistically competent human services to deaf people.

    We believe our unique expertise shouldn’t be limited to our state-level programs. In a time when service providers struggle to deliver effective services to the deaf population nationwide, National Programs envisions making a broader and more sustainable impact through a national-scale model. Towards this end, we are shifting towards a new strategic vision, centered on an innovative concept model called the CSD Neighborhood Initiative.

    The State of Human Services

    Few service providers across the U.S. possess the background knowledge and provide the accommodations required to fully meet the deaf person’s needs. For instance, only fifteen out of the 3,020 programs addressing domestic and sexual violence in the United States are specifically designed to serve deaf survivors (Smith, N. and Hope, C., 2015). The majority of the deaf population, estimated at around one million people in the U.S. (Mitchell, 2005), receives their services from standard mainstream providers, and this has led to markedly poor outcomes.

    Across the spectrum of human services, lack of communications access remains a serious issue. One study indicated that in any given month, nearly three in four deaf Americans are unable to obtain an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter (NCIEC, 2008). Other studies further prove the prevalence of inaccessibility to communication, especially in health care. One Chicago-area study found that “over one-third of [deaf people] who had been hospitalized or were seen in an Emergency Department indicated they had never had a professional [ASL] interpreter present to assist them in communicating with the doctor” (Margellos-Anast H., et al, 2004).

    Nowhere is the outlook bleaker for deaf people than in employment. Nearly half of all deaf Americans (49.8%) are unemployed (Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, 2014). One in three deaf Americans rely on government assistance, as reported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Our education system and vocational rehabilitation services are not effectively preparing deaf individuals to market themselves for competitive employment in a rapidly transforming world.

    Several factors contribute to the challenges human service providers face in serving the deaf community. First, the deaf community is a low-prevalence and diffuse population, dispersed in hundreds of smaller communities in the U.S., which limits the impact of deaf-specific service providers, who are as dispersed as the segments of the deaf community they serve. Though these service providers work on the same issues, deliver nearly identical services, and face similar challenges, there has been minimal effort to collaborate, share resources, and learn from each other. Fragmentation among these service providers has led to a lack of consistency in culturally and linguistically competent delivery of human services.

    The pathway towards living independent and fulfilling lives for all Americans begins with access to basic services and resources that ensure excellent education, good health, and sustainable employment. Deaf Americans are no different. Improving the cultural and linguistic competence of service providers gives deaf people equal access to the same basic services and resources that serve as the foundation for independent and fulfilling lives.

    This is why broad and scalable solutions that improve and reinforce the cultural competency and efficacy of human service delivery to the deaf community are urgently needed. As the largest deaf-led non-profit in the United States, CSD is uniquely positioned to develop the CSD Neighborhood Initiative, a high-impact and national-scale umbrella set of programs that connects deaf-specific and mainstream service providers, solves nation-wide issues and gaps in service, and empowers deaf individuals with easy access to information and resources through an online guide. We believe these our innovative and transformative ideas have the potential to effectively address the biggest challenges in providing services to deaf people.

  • History:
  • In 1975, CSD opened in Sioux Falls, S.D. in response to the overwhelming needs of local deaf and hard of hearing people encountering communication barriers. Since then, CSD has championed communication access for deaf and hard of hearing people, providing interpreting, advocacy and human services nationwide. Currently based in Austin, TX, CSD has more than 600 employees, contracts with over 1,000 certified ASL interpreters.

    In addition to National Programs, CSD provides a number of services and programs directed towards improving communication access for deaf and hard of hearing people. Workplace Solutions is a suite of tools, training, and accommodations designed to create accessible work environments. Direct Services aims to improve how businesses serve deaf and hard of hearing customers through direct video connections with deaf customer service representatives. Additionally, CSD has grown to become the nation’s largest provider of contact center services for deaf and hard of hearing people, including telecommunications relay and equipment distribution programs.

    Uniquely Qualified in Developing Innovative Technology

    CSD has a strong history of developing innovations through technology especially tailored for deaf and hard of hearing individuals with the goal of providing communication access and a means of functional equivalency. Such technology began with teletypewriter (TTY) interpreting during CSD’s first years, to text telecommunications and video relay services, and today’s sign language interpreting online marketplace, Vineya.

    Experience in Successfully Executed Grants

    CSD provides a consistent record of successful grant administration, including our fiscal management and full compliance of a $14,900,000 grant by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to expand national broadband adoption for the deaf and hard of hearing population. The execution of this grant resulted in over 482,000 customer contacts, nearly 15,000 subsidized devices and broadband subscriptions, and 3.4 million individuals enrolled in our online employment curriculum, which was provided through interactive tutorials and videos.

    Organization Leaders

    CSD’s Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Soukup, has worked with CSD for over 15 years, in diverse and progressively responsible positions, from human service and administrative roles to contact center services and executive leadership. With Chris’ leadership, CSD is primed for future growth in the areas of video communications technology, software development, creative and interactive media and specialized contact center services. As a direct result of these initiatives, CSD is beginning to introduce globally scaled innovative approaches to serving the deaf community. Chris serves as senior company spokesperson and has represented CSD nationally and internationally, and has served on a number of committees, including the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee.

    Ryan Hutchison, Vice President of National Programs, will oversee the development of the CSD Neighborhood programs. He has led CSD’s community-based programs and services and aligns CSD’s global strategies with initiatives at the community level. As a member of CSD’s leadership team, Ryan advocates and develops relationship with governmental, community-based, and corporate entities in support of CSD’s programs. Ryan has advocated for communications access and linguistic rights for the deaf community worldwide, and has traveled to Turkey for the World Federation of the Deaf conference and to China to advance communication access and improve sign language interpreting services. Prior to CSD, Ryan was the Executive Director of the Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts (HAPA), a nonprofit organization with the mission to increase access to and for the performing arts in Austin’s Hispanic and minority communities.

    Unique Staff and Outreach Qualifications

    CSD’s Creative team is a specialized, well-built team that focuses on every aspect of an outreach and awareness campaign in order to assure its every success in all states—from design to promotional materials to distribution. With a majority of the team being deaf themselves, they are skilled at designing visual, interactive materials geared towards the populations that we serve.

    CSD also has built a strong social media following. At the time of the writing of this proposal, CSD has nearly 45,000 fans on Facebook; 3,500 followers on Twitter; over 600 followers on Instagram; over 700 subscribers on YouTube; and since January, our website has received over 76,000 unique visitors. Combined with digital advertising mechanisms, CSD’s digital presence has the ability to reach more than 250,000 deaf individuals.

  • Year established:1975
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:12
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:607


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:509(a)(2)
  • Tax ID: