DeafConnect of the Mid-South, Inc. was established under the name of Interpreting Service for the Deaf, Inc. (ISD) in 1975 through the efforts of deaf consumers and certified sign language interpreters. ISD began as a part-time, private, non-profit interpreter referral agency with funding provided by the United Way of Greater Memphis. In 1978 services increased through its affiliation with Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).
In 1987, ISD left the YMCA system and aligned with St. Joseph Hospital. It incorporated and applied for 501(c)(3) status to secure grant and donation dollars not available through the hospital. With the St. Joseph facing funding uncertainties in the fall of 1994, ISD began to consider other options. The Board of Directors determined that future growth could best be facilitated as an autonomous non-profit agency, effective January 1, 1995. In the spring of 1998, the Board of Directors purchased the current building at 144 North Bellevue to increase space for operational and programming needs and to maintain accessibility to public transportation and proximity to medical and government offices.
In 2006 the Board of Directors felt that the name “Interpreting Service for the Deaf” did not fully express the variety and range of services provided to our client population and the general community. Thus, DeafConnect of the Mid-South, Inc. became the new operating name. As well as our core services of providing qualified American Sign Language Interpreting, the agency provides Independent Living Services, community Sign Language classes, advocacy, community education and outreach, and job placement services.