WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - A new outreach center for the deaf and blind opened in West Ashley on Monday.
The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind hasn't had a facility in the Lowcountry for five years.
The demand for special hearing and deaf services in the Lowcountry is on the rise, especially in the rural areas, according to Director of Outreach Services, Scott Falcone.
The new office, located at 1064 Gardner Road in West Ashley, has been named the Colson Center of Outreach Services.
This is in honor of Millie and Johnny Colson, who were life long advocates for the deaf and blind in Charleston. Both husband and wife have passed away, but their legacy will live on. Their family attended the ribbon cutting.
Millie Colson was the first manager at the school's original Charleston center. In 1988, the office was opened on Dunbar Street. However, they were forced to close their doors back in 2010 due to to lack of funding.
Now, Falcone is confident that this center is here to stay.
The Colson Center in Charleston will staff around nine people, but serve several hundred families. They will also help businesses and schools who work with the deaf or blind with everything from sign language to braille.
Falcone says some may not know that SC School for the Deaf and Blind also serves as an important resource during emergencies.
This can be especially helpful for those with sensory disabilities now that we are in hurricane season. During an emergency, SC School of the Deaf and Blind reaches out to the deaf and blind to ensure sure that they're given the necessary evacuation information and relief aid.
The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind also has has a specialized K-12 school in Spartanburg.