Georgia School for the Deaf

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Georgia School for the Deaf
Building of the Georgia School for the Deaf, Fannin Hall, built in 1846, as a field hospital for Civil War soldiers during American Civil War.jpg
232 Perry Farm Road SW


United States
TypeSchool for the deaf, state school
DirectorKenney Moore (interim)
PrincipalLesile Jackson
EnrollmentApprox. 115 students (2009)
Color(s)Green and gold         
LanguagesAmerican Sign Language, English
Fannin Hall, one of the earliest buildings of old Georgia School for the Deaf campus, was used as a field hospital for American Civil War soldiers.

Georgia School for the Deaf (GSD) provides comprehensive education and services to deaf and hard-of-hearing students between the ages of three and eighteen. Located in Cave Spring, Georgia, United States, the school offers day and residential programs which meet the academic, social and physical needs of students in a total communication environment.[1] It was established in 1846.


Georgia School for the Deaf is in the scenic Vann's Valley. It is Georgia's only residential school serving deaf and hard-of-hearing students. GSD was established in 1846 on the grounds of the Hearn Academy by one of its teachers, O. P. Fannin. A log cabin, a $5000 legislative grant, and four students[2] began a more than 160-year-long tradition of service to children across the state. GSD was the eleventh residential school for the deaf established in the United States.[3]


GSD has an extensive campus of over 300 acres (1.2 km2) in the small community of Cave Spring. The relationship between Cave Spring and GSD is one-of-a-kind because many residents and business owners are able to communicate with sign language.[4] GSD is currently based on the Perry Farm, just outside of Cave Spring, but was formerly based in Downtown Cave Spring in what is now the Cave Spring City Hall.

Mission statement[edit]

The Georgia School for the Deaf provides some of our state's most deserving students with a unique learning environment deliberately designed to enable them to become literate, productive and successful graduates ready to take their rightful place as important contributing members of American society and their community.[4]


"GSD will be recognized as one of the nation's premiere public residential schools for the deaf and hard of hearing students."[4]

Residential students[edit]

GSD's residential program lets students be accepted into the deaf/hard-of-hearing culture, create long-lasting friendships, develop appropriate social skills, and be involved in sports and after-school activities.

Students are transported to their homes every weekend.[4]


Georgia School for the Deaf has a varsity basketball team for girls and boys, a football team, a soccer team, and a volleyball team.

The female and male varsity basketball teams at GSD compete in the Mason-Dixon Tournament yearly.[5] In 2008 the GSD Lady Tigers won the Mason-Dixon Tournament; it was their first win since 1980.[6]

The GSD football team competes against deaf and hearing schools. They use their hearing disadvantage to their benefit by using sign language in their huddles and mental rhythmic plays.[7]


Willie Brown played basketball at GSD. In his sophomore year he was 6'6" and averaged 28 points, 12 rebounds a game. He was voted the number one high school player in northeast Georgia.[8] Brown holds the school record of 2,016 points over four years in basketball at GSD. After graduating, he pursued college basketball at Hofstra University in New York, where he played alongside hearing teammates.[9]


To be eligible to get into GSD, students must be between the ages of 3 and 21 and have an audio-metric hearing loss of 55 dB or greater in the better ear. To live on campus students must be between the ages of 4 and 21. Students under the age of 4 are eligible for day school admission.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Georgia Department of Education - State Schools
  2. ^ Epeachy News' Georgia Deaf History Archived 2009-05-19 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Gannon, Jack. 1981. Deaf Heritage – A Narrative History of Deaf America, Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf, p. 26 (PDF)
  4. ^ a b c d Georgia School for the Deaf - Index
  5. ^ "Georgia School for the Deaf, Teams." Georgia School for the Deaf - Index. 2010. Web. 02 Sept. 2010. <
  6. ^ "GSD Girls Go on to Win Tournament." Sports Edition. Ed. Staff Reports. 2008. Web. 09 Sept. 2010. <>.
  7. ^ Letwin, Bill. "Deaf Grid Team Wins No.6 on Sign Language." The Milwaukee Journal 20 Nov. 1943: 3-4. Print.
  8. ^ Rogers, Thomas. "Sports World Specials; Glenns Devotion." New York Times 26 July 1982: 0-1. Web. <>.
  9. ^ Press, Associated. "Deaf Basketball Player: Hofsta's Willie Brown Has Plenty of Heart." Los Angeles Times 6 Jan. 1985: 1-2. Print.
  10. ^ "Georgia School for the Deaf - Admissions." Georgia School for the Deaf - Index. 2010. Web. 10 Sept. 2010. <>.

External links[edit]

34°05′50″N 85°20′58″W / 34.097123°N 85.349416°W / 34.097123; -85.349416Coordinates: 34°05′50″N 85°20′58″W / 34.097123°N 85.349416°W / 34.097123; -85.349416