VITAC Named Recipient of the Center for Hearing & Deaf Services’ Richard J. Follett Memorial Award

by: David Titmus

Award Recognizes VITAC’s Commitment and Service to HDS, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community

VITAC, the largest captioning company in the United States, is proud to be the recipient of the Richard J. Follett Memorial Award from the Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc. (HDS).

VITAC was a unanimous selection for the award by the HDS board of directors in recognition of its years of dedication to and partnership with HDS and its clients as well as for the essential services that VITAC provides to the nearly 50 million Americans in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Photo of VITAC's Marketing Director Brittany Winland and CMO John Capobianco and close-up of the Richard Follett Memorial Award.The Richard J. Follett Memorial Award is presented to an individual or organization that exhibits the attributes exemplified by its namesake – compassion, dedication, volunteerism, and a determined commitment toward enhancing the quality of life for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Follett, a member of the center’s board of directors from 1984 to 1988, was devoted to raising community awareness regarding the needs of children and adults who are deaf and their desire to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

“HDS is pleased and proud to present this award to VITAC,” said Amy Hart, president and CEO of the Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc. “Not only is it VITAC’s business to make information and entertainment accessible to people with hearing loss, but it is also their passion. Their contributions to the community, their employee volunteerism and generosity − especially with the clients served by HDS − and their cutting edge leadership in their field makes VITAC a critical part of enhancing the quality of life for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

The Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc., is southwestern Pennsylvania’s only comprehensive service center, providing a wide variety of quality diagnostic, rehabilitative, and support services to meet the unique challenges of children and adults who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing. The center also strives to increase independence and enhance the quality of life for those individuals.

VITAC, HDS, and the center’s clients have shared a long-standing, special friendship. HDS is VITAC’s chosen holiday charity and, for more than two decades, VITAC and its employees have been proud participants in the center’s Angel Gift exchange program and holiday party.

“We are thrilled and deeply honored to receive this award,” said VITAC Chief Marketing Officer John H. Capobianco. “Creating captions and accessible services and solutions is more than just a job for us, as it reflects the commitment and dedication that each of our employees has in providing accessibility for life. This is truly a company-wide recognition.”

The award ceremony was held on May 2 at the Residences at the Fairmont in Pittsburgh.

HDS also presented that night the Harlan Rosenzweig Appreciation Award to long-time HDS board members John Wilds and William J. Brown. The award is given to a person or organization who has provided exceptional contributions and made a major difference in helping the center fulfill its mission.