Our Social Purpose

Social Mission
“We are a nonprofit organization. All proceeds support our mission of hiring, training, and promoting Deaf individuals in a productive work environment free from communication barriers, where they produce unique, quality T-shirt Quilts which exceed the customer’s expectations.”

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The Problem

Did you know that there are 9 million Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States and 75% of them are unemployed, 19% are under employed. Work is critical to identity, dignity and helps people stay healthy and grounded.

Our Solution

Today, there is a huge market of the socially conscious consumers who are making choices that are socially and environmentally impactful, making social enterprises more appealing in their purchase journey.

Deaf Initiatives employs Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in a work environment where everyone is fluent in American Sign Language. Deaf Initiatives has risen beyond statistics and obstacles to become a prominent place of employment for Deaf people in Columbus, Ohio.

Deaf Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, through its mission-driven social purpose business, Keepsake Theme Quilts (KTQ), creates employment opportunities for Deaf individuals as a path to personal success, ­financial independence and self-fulfilled­ lives. KTQ was created in 1999 with the innovative idea that this organization EXISTS to hire, train and promote Deaf employees in an environment free from communication barriers that limit Deaf job seekers. The Deaf friendly work environment includes large open rooms, which are essential when using a visual language to communicate and assistive technology for individuals that cannot hear to help facilitate communicate between the Deaf and hearing.

KTQ is unique in that every employee is fluent in the use of sign language, thus removing communication differences as an obstacle to Deaf participation, training, improvement, collaboration, problem solving, promotion and success. Workers are exposed to a small manufacturing and sales business where they participate in product development, gain experience with inventory control, operation of tools and equipment, data entry/computer skills and customer relations. Keepsake Theme Quilts continues to contribute to our local and national economy through the purchase of related goods and services used throughout the quilting process.

Keepsake Theme Quilts brings new life to any customer’s personal collection of T-shirts.  “You make the memories, we make the quilt!”

We encourage professional development, vocational development, short term employment and long term careers.

  • Growing number of Deaf and hard of hearing employees
  • All employees communicate using ASL, video phone, email, interpreters, etc.
  • A number of promotions given annuallyShonna - Office Manager
  • All management positions including office manager, production coordinator, and
    supervisors are  held by Deaf and hard of hearing individuals
  • Job stability– many employees have been with us for 10+ years

Employees gain experience in:                                        

  • Small manufacturing and sales businessCommunication
  • Product development
  • Inventory control
  • Operation of tools & equipment
  • Data entry
  • Computer skills
  • Customer relations
  • Collaboration & Problem solving


Our products include….Keepsake Theme Quilts created in 1999, Express T-shirt Quilts created in 2013, T-shirt Project created in 2014, Build-A-Baby created in 2016 and Mini Memories created in 2017.

Our work environment includes:

  • Large open rooms, which are essential when using a visual language to communicate
  • Assistive technology: Video Phones, Instant Messaging System, E-mail, etc.
  • Employees that are all fluent in American Sign Language
  • Staff interpreters available to facilitate communication between employees and customers

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  • Large Open Rooms To Communicate

  • 2014Quilts025

    Assistive Technology: E-mail and Instant Messaging System

  • 3ladies

    Employees fluent in American Sign Language

  • Kim2

    Assistive Technology: Video Phones