Deaf Oral School


Our History

The Hearing & Speech Center was founded in 1960. A small group of parents from the Lexington area approached Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy and Edie Frankel to ask for their assistance in establishing a program to teach speech skills to their children with hearing impairments. This was the beginning of the Lexington Deaf Oral School, later to become The Hearing & Speech Center.

Mr. Frankel, an architect and engineer who had been deaf since birth, and Mrs. Frankel, who had a hearing loss, dedicated their lives to active community participation for the hearing impaired. Fundraising efforts began. Building space was donated by Temple Adath Israel and a teacher was hired. The Lexington Deaf Oral School opened with six students. For nine years the Temple housed the Lexington Deaf Oral School.

Successful fundraising efforts enabled the Board of Directors to purchase a house at 158 North Ashland Avenue in 1969. Due to continued growth, a brick addition was added to the back of that house with a multipurpose room on the first floor and classroom space on the second floor. This facility was dedicated in 1971. In 1978, the Board of Directors expanded programming to include additional audiological and speech/language pathology services for preschoolers and community clients. The name of the school was changed to the Lexington Hearing & Speech Center to better reflect the broader program.

Hearing & Speech Center modern exterior

The 1980's led to the acquisition of property on both sides of the first home. The Hearing & Speech Center property at 162 North Ashland Avenue was joined to the first house by a walk-through. In December 1985, the Center celebrated this expansion project as well as its 25th anniversary. In the spring of 1993, the Center grew again. The Board of Directors voted to establish day care services in the building located next door to the Frankel Building at 154 North Ashland Avenue. This led to the Day School Program. This program allows children with typical speech and hearing development to attend.

In 2011, LHSC moved from the houses on North Ashland Avenue to the 70,000 square-foot brick school on Henry Clay Boulevard (formerly J.R. Ewan Elementary School). This new facility has supported the continued growth and expansion within all programs. LHSC looks forward to a future of continued dedication to excellence, as it follows the examples of its founders, Edie and Jimmy Frankel.

In 2020, in an effort to honor everyone served by the organization, the decision was made to change the name to The Hearing & Speech Center. The Hearing & Speech Center is proud to support individuals and families from over 70 Kentucky counties. The updated name and logo represent The Hearing & Speech Center’s commitment to all Kentuckians.


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Board & Leadership Staff

Board Executive Committee

  • Buddy Schneider, Chair
  • Jason Taylor, Chair Elect
  • Matt Fritts, Treasurer and Secretary
  • Mary Beth Wright, Building Committee
  • Brian Tomlinson, Immediate Past Chair
  • Marcey Ansley, Executive Director, Ex-Officio

Board Members

  • Morgan Hall
  • Kenneth Iverson, M.D.
  • Sarah Hawkins Lear, Ed.D.
  • Polina Nikolova
  • Rob Ruddick
  • Anetha Sanford
  • Kyle Virgin, J.D.
  • Sharon Votaw
  • Ryan Worthen

Leadership Staff

Glossary of Terms


Cochlear Implant: A surgical treatment for hearing loss that works like an artificial human cochlea in the inner ear, helping to send sound from the ear to the brain by stimulating the hearing (auditory) nerve directly.

Loaner hearing equipment: Hearing equipment that may be loaned to clients who do not have access to personal equipment for a short period of time.

Audiologist: A healthcare professional trained to identify, diagnose, measure, and rehabilitate hearing problems.

FM system (Frequency Modulated): An advanced assistive hearing tool that makes hearing easy in the presence of background noise by directly picking up speech signals at the source and clearly transferring these signals directly to the ear.


Auditory-Verbal therapy: A method designed to teach a child to use the hearing provided by a hearing aid or a cochlear implant for understanding speech and learning to talk.

Literacy enriched curriculum: Focuses on and emphasizes the importance of speaking, reading, and writing in the learning of all students.

Developmental Milestones: A set of functional skills or tasks that most children can do at a certain age range.

Speech-language pathology: Evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in individuals of all ages.

Language stimulation: Helping an individual understand and use language by exposing him or her to sound specific activities.


Sound fields: Area for testing how well an individual can hear with hearing aids on.

Screenings: Test or exams done to find a condition before symptoms begin.

Early Intervention: System of coordinated services that promotes children’s growth and development and supports families during the critical early years.

Specialized Individual Program: Specific programs that are greatly beneficial to certain individuals.

Social play groups: Play groups that help children develop social skills, gain independence, and build self-confidence.

Amplification technology: Devices that make sound signals stronger for an individual.

Developmental stages: Critical stages in a child’s life where certain needs, behaviors, experiences and capabilities are common within a certain age period.


Inclusive classrooms: A learning environment where children are encouraged to actively learn and participate.

In-house field trips: Field trips that take place within the Hearing & Speech Center.

Center-based learning: Teachers use certain subjects (math, science, reading, etc.) and learning objectives to create learning centers in order to help children learn independently through hands-on activities.

Individualized programming: Programs that ensure appropriate planning and activities for specific students.

Child-centered care: Care that focuses on the well-being of children and is designed to promote a child's personal qualities.

Language-enriched programming: Programming that focuses on and develops language skills.

Student-Teacher ratios: Depending on the amount of children in a classroom at a given time, a certain number of teachers must be present accordingly.

Day School: HSC’s early education program for children under the age of 3.

Preschool: Educational institution that prepares children for elementary school.

Kindergarten: A school grade or class that prepares children around 5-6 years old for first grade.

Transitional Kindergarten: A school grade that helps children transition between preschool and kindergarten, functioning to provide students with time to develop fundamental skills needed for success in elementary school.

Oral Deaf Education: A way of teaching deaf children to listen and to speak without the use of sign language or other visual cues.

Contact us to make your appointment.

350 Henry Clay Blvd.
Lexington, KY 40502

p. (859) 268-4545

f. (859) 269-1857

Book your Audiology Appointment Online

Open Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm

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(859) 268-4545
350 Henry Clay Blvd., Lexington, KY 40502
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