by Jeffrey S. Bravin This is a pivotal time for the American School for the Deaf.
In April, we celebrate 200 years of deaf education in the United States and ASD’s bicentennial anniversary. While much has changed since our early days, ASD’s dedication to providing a quality education for all deaf and hard of hearing children has remained the same.
We continue to explore innovative teaching methods while incorporating state-of-the-art technology into our classrooms. ASD is equipped with the latest technology to provide students with total access to language – this includes signing, captioning, and advanced digital systems to assist students with hearing aids and cochlear implants.
We firmly believe that the use of sign language is also critical to ensure that our students benefit from communication access in all environments. Exposing children to a communicatively accessible environment at the earliest possible age results in language development and academic success. The bilingual approach will foster this accessible environment while providing our students with the tools to achieve fluency in two languages.
Now in the second year of our three year strategic plan, we are hard at work growing our enrollment, raising our academic rigor, and integrating the American Sign Language/English Bilingual Approach on campus.
With our eyes to the future, we are also completing a comprehensive branding and marketing effort to reposition ASD as the first choice in education for all deaf and hard of hearing students.
We have unveiled a new logo, tag line (ALL Ways Able), and credo (see below) for the school that not only captures ASD’s centuries of excellence, but also translates our visions for the future as we embark on our next 200 years. Our credo:
What does it mean to be able?
It means you can.
You have what it takes.
Not just in a classroom, but in the world.
So we prepare deaf and hard-of-hearing students
not only for diplomas,
but for their whole lives.
By nurturing the whole child:
Intellectually. Emotionally. Physically. And socially.
and by giving every student everything they need
to focus not on obstacles or challenges,
but on opportunities and potential.
Our students and their families find we’re more than a school -
we’re a true community, made up of passionate professionals
And, using a holistic ASL/English bilingual approach,
we help students and their families be well-prepared
To participate in everything tomorrow will bring.
Because we want all our students
To look forward to futures in which they’re…
ALL ways able.
Jeffrey S. Bravin is Executive Director of the American School for the Deaf, located in West Hartford. Founded in 1817, the American School for the Deaf was the first permanent school for the deaf in the United States and a nationally renowned leader in providing comprehensive educational programs and services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.