top of page
Our Story

In early 2009, the idea for "EARS" began, thanks to our co-founders Donice Kaufman and Sandy Cohen. 

There was a need for education and alerting devices for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind community in the event of an emergency. The goal was to utilize existing services if available.


Representation comes from the:

  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing community,

  • Office of Emergency Management for Nashville and Davidson County,

  • National Weather Service, 

  • American Red Cross,

  • United Way/2-1-1 of Metropolitan Nashville,

  • State Fire Marshal's Office,

  • TN Department of Health,

  • National Center for Emergency Preparedness,

  • TN Council for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind & Hard of Hearing,

  • TN Disability Coalition,

  • TN Disability Pathfinder,

  • Library Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing-Nashville Public Library,

  • Bridges (Serving the Deaf & Hard of Hearing),

  • ZVRS

  • TN Association of the Deaf, Hearing Loss Association of America-Nashville Chapter,

  • Disability Rights TN,

  • Sprint TN Relay Service

  • and many others.


Our mission statement: The EARS program exists to provide emergency preparedness training, appropriate early warning equipment, and the coordination of emergency services for the benefit of persons who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind.


In 2015, EARS decided it was time to be an official non-profit organization so we can better help the community, so we took the plunge into the non-profit world. We hired a specialist to assist us with our business model and by-laws, then applied for non-profit 501(c)(3) status. We were officially granted 501(c)(3) status in late 2015.

EARS continues to work on formalizing its structure and to address the needs of those who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and the emergency response communities in partnership with one another.

EARS Organization

EARS, Inc. is organized into three main groups, the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors and the Consortia.

EARS Org chart Heidi 2016.jpg
bottom of page