Indiana School for the Deaf

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Indiana School for the Deaf
Indiana School for the Deaf logo.jpg
1200 East 42nd Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 95608
 United States
Type Schools for the Deaf, State school
Established 1843
Superintendent Dr. David Geeslin
Director of Instruction Kim Kause[1]
Grades Pre-K-12
Enrollment up to 600 (2015)
Campus size ~14 acres
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Orange and Black         
Sports Football, Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball, Swimming, Track and Field, Cheerleading[2]
Mascot Orioles
Athletic Director Paul Wood[3]
Indiana School for the Deaf
Front of the main building
Indiana School for the Deaf is located in Indianapolis
Indiana School for the Deaf
Indiana School for the Deaf is located in Indiana
Indiana School for the Deaf
Indiana School for the Deaf is located in the US
Indiana School for the Deaf
Location 1200 E. 42nd St., Indianapolis, Indiana
Coordinates 39°50′6″N 86°8′16″W / 39.83500°N 86.13778°W / 39.83500; -86.13778Coordinates: 39°50′6″N 86°8′16″W / 39.83500°N 86.13778°W / 39.83500; -86.13778
Area 14 acres (5.7 ha)
Built 1911
Architect Rubush & Hunter; Et al.
Architectural style Classical Revival
NRHP reference # 91000790[4]
Added to NRHP June 27, 1991

Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) is a fully accredited school for the deaf and hard of hearing, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It won the best deaf school in America in 2011 and 2014


When the first school for the Deaf was established in Indiana, it was not called Indiana School for the Deaf. It was named Willard School, after the founder, William Willard.[5]

William Willard was a deaf teacher who taught at Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus, Ohio. He traveled to Indianapolis in May 1843 to propose the establishment of a Deaf School. Once he had the support of the General Assembly, he recruited approximately twelve students. He and his wife, Eliza, were teachers. Eventually, the school had grown and a law which was passed in January 1846, officially established the Willard School as the sixth state school for the Deaf and the first Deaf school to provide free education to Deaf and hard of hearing students. The school had actually moved a few times in different locations, when finally, the school was built on an 80-acre (32 ha) property on East 42nd Street. The name was changed to Indiana School for the Deaf. The school's main buildings on the current campus were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.[6]


ISD is prominent for being a leader in Bilingual-Bicultural Deaf Education.

The Bilingual/Bicultural Philosophy provides language acquisition and facilitates proficiency in two languages, American Sign Language (ASL), and English. By providing an enriched academic and cultural learning environment, its Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students develop a sense of identity within the Deaf community. Students also develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to function effectively with members of a multicultural, diversified community.


ISD offers several programs ranging from infants to high school. They are as follows: Parent Infant Program, Preschool, Elementary, Middle School, and High School.

The Parent Infant Program works closely with parents and their deaf or hard of hearing children from ages 0 to 3. When a student reaches 18 months of age, he or she can enroll at ISD as an official student. Preschool handles children up until Pre-Kindergarten. Elementary provides academics and activities for Kindergarten through 4thgrade students. Middle school hosts grades 5 to 8, and High School hosts grades 9 through 12.


ISD is also a residential school. It has dormitories where students reside throughout the week. Students arrive on Sundays and depart on Fridays. Dormitories are for students who live far enough not to be able to travel by bus every day to school. There are dormitories for male and female students: Preschool, Elementary, Middle School, and High School. ISD's residential programs offers extracurricular activities, peer interaction, student growth and development, achievement, and more.


ISD offers several athletics starting from 5th grade to 12th grade. There are sports for both female and male students.

  • Male Sports
    • Football
    • Cross Country
    • Wrestling
    • Basketball
    • Baseball
    • Track and Field
    • Swimming
  • Female Sports
    • Volleyball
    • Basketball
    • Cheerleading
    • Track and Field
    • Swimming
    • Softball

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Deaf Hoosier News, Indianapolis, IN, 2011-07-01. ([1])
  2. ^
  3. ^ Deaf Hoosier Sports Poster, Indianapolis, IN, 2011-12-11. ([2])
  4. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  5. ^ Gannon, Jack. 1981. Deaf Heritage–A Narrative History of Deaf America, Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf, p. 23 (PDF Archived March 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.)
  6. ^ "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-08-01. Note: This includes Jess Smith and Suzanne Rollins (June 1990). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Indiana School for the Deaf" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-01. and Accompanying photographs

External links[edit]