In 1974, Don and Mary Burkes, a deaf couple, and Betty Steed, a local nationally certified interpreter and Pastor of Eternal Mercy Lutheran Church, recognized the need for an organization to facilitate American Sign Language interpreting in Memphis. Together they founded Interpreting Service for the Deaf. United Way of Greater Memphis provided our initial funding, and we were housed at the Child Development Center. In 1978 ISD became a division of the Memphis YMCA, and services were expanded to include telecommunication devices for the D/deaf, relay services, advocacy, job placement assistance, public education and awareness. In 1987 we became a department of St. Joseph Hospital of Memphis. To reflect the incorporation of more programs for the community, in 1995 ISD changed its name to DeafConnect of the Mid-South and became a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Today DeafConnect provides more than 12,000 hours of interpreting services each year.