Student examing the contents of a soda bottle filled with solution.

Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Education is Based on Language

In the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the communication needs of each student are at the heart of our educational programming. Deaf and hard of hearing children need as much exposure and access to language as they can get in order to acquire the foundation for all other learning.

At MSDB, we recognize that every child is different, and we encourage students to learn and use as much sign language and as much speech as is appropriate for them. To aid in the development of each student’s potential for speech and use of residual hearing, the School provides speech therapy and audiological services.

On the MSDB campus, deaf students experience an environment where almost everyone they meet can speak to them and understand them. The School provides a language rich program with a staff and peer group who are fluent in sign language and who communicate using both sign and speech. These language role models are critical to the language development of each child, and this environment builds self esteem and social satisfaction.

Public Schools

At the same time, students are encouraged to interact with the hearing world, through participation in community outings and by taking some public school classes.  Students at all grade levels may  participate in public school, as determined by their Individual Education Plan (IEP). MSDB provides interpreter/tutor services to facilitate communication and assist in accessing the curriculum in the public school setting. In addition to sign language interpreters, we offer real-time captioning for students for whom it is appropriate. Please click here to learn about our interpreter services.

General Education Requirements

MSDB’s educational program is aligned with state requirements. (For details, click here.) Classes at MSDB include instruction in language arts, reading, science, math, social studies, and health enhancement. Art, music, library, and vocational courses are taught as appropriate for age level and placement in school. In order for students to access the curriculum, we make adaptations regarding communication and literacy, according to the needs of individual students.

Transition to Life Beyond High School

MSDB plays a vital role in preparing each student to make the transition from high school to post-secondary education, technical training, and/or employment. Our extensive Transition Program serves high school students, as well as some who have graduated, and is a fundamental part of educating deaf and hard of hearing students. Please click here to read about MSDB’s Transition Program.