Arkansas School for the Deaf (ASD)


Arkansas School for the Deaf.

ASD was founded in 1850. It spans for 150 years of rich heritage in providing quality educational services to meet the immediate and future needs of deaf and hard hearing children in Arkansas. The first program was in Clarksville Ar, by Augustus Ward, he was the first to be established West of the Mississippi River. In 1860, Asa Clark organized a second school for the deaf in his home in Fort Smith. In 1905 an act was passed extending the time that deaf children were allowed to attend the residential school from 10 to 13 years. Act only included children between the ages of 6 and 21 could be admitted into the school. In 1936 the school purchased its first school bus. This gave the students more opportunities to have field trips and athletic teams to broaden their learning experience. In 1949 all black deaf children were moved to a new school building located on Madison Street. It wasn't until 1965 that total integration of black students took place. Madison school was later closed and all black deaf students were placed at ASD and attended classes with other students regardless of race. In today's time all students attend classes together no matter their race, gender, or age.

Organizations that helped individuals with disabilities and their families gain access.

After seeing a teaching demonstration by Mr. Clark for the Arkansas Legislature, an appropriation was established for the funding of the school. During this time the Civil War forced the school to close. Immediately following the end of the Civil War the school reopened and moved on the site of the Territorial Capital. The building used was the first school for the Deaf in Little Rock as well as the first State Capitol. The ASD is financed through the state and federal funds. There is NO COST to attend the school. All meals, transportation, and services are provided at NO COST to families of our students, Families of students need to only provide basic school supplies and spending money for activities.

Since the 1980s ASD has progressed in many ways. The students began going home every weekend and the computer lab was established in the Vocational building. KidCo daycare was implemented for both ASD and the public.

Current Technology and Activities

State of the art computer lab in each school building as well as classroom computers throughout campus and in dorms. Each classroom has at least 2 desktops computers, a smart board, an LCD program, and a document cameras. Each school building has a computer lab for use for group projects and activities. Have visual Intercom System to Communicate messages across campus and a visual Emergency Communication System . All of the students and employees including the cafeteria workers all know sign language. Some students even have Cochlear implants. Besides Basketball which in 1941 the ASD won the National Championship for schools for the deaf, they currently have football, volleyball, cheer leading, soccer, and special Olympics. Some of their Organizations and Activities currently are: Junior National Association of the Deaf, Skills USA, Journalism, Optimism, Yearbook Staff, National Science Fair Competition, Girl and Boy Scouts, Student Council, and Singing Fingers.