Arizona’s first state legislature in 1912 enacted a provision forming the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Henry C. White was the first principal, appointed by Governor George W. P. Hunt, and classes began in October, 1912. Nineteen children who were deaf or hard of hearing were the first students, and classes were held in a converted residence on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Over the years, the school continued to grow, eventually becoming a public corporation governed by a board of directors. Through modernization of the physical plant, growth of the curriculum, and expansion of learning opportunities, ASDB continues to lead the nation in serving students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired or deafblind in the state of Arizona. The Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB) was established in 1912 as a department at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The first home of the school was a converted residence on the University campus. The first building on East 2nd Street and Park Avenue near the University was the former residence of a professor.
A growing population soon made the facility inadequate and the search for new facilities began. In 1918 the City of Tucson donated fifty acres on West Speedway, and in 1919 eighteen additional acres were purchased. Contracts were awarded in 1921 for the construction of four buildings: two dormitories, a kitchen and dining room, and a powerhouse. No classrooms were included, so a wooden building had to be moved from the University and converted into classrooms. Classes began on the West Speedway campus in October 1922.
The campus now has over twenty-five buildings, athletic recreational facilities with beautiful landscaping and well-maintained open areas. Students may attend classes from age 3 through 21. The school colors are royal blue and white and the mascot is the Sentinel. For 100 years, ASDB has provided a well-rounded quality education through a variety of classes, sports, extracurricular activities, events and other programs for the students. We are proud of the precious and rich heritage of ASDB!
Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) was established in 1967. PDSD is a division of the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. PDSD has been providing quality educational programming for children who are deaf or hard of hearing for over 40 years within the metropolitan Phoenix area. The school was originally established at the urging of Phoenix parents who wanted their children educated closer to home. PDSD began in 1967 with 26 elementary students and 5 teachers. Today they have 370 students in Kindergarten through 12th grade and 90 faculty. The high school department was established in 1979 with the first graduating class in 1983. PDSD has been fully accredited by the North Central Association since 1982.
The Phoenix Campus provides a full array of educational and support services to day students in Elementary, Middle School and High School. These services include counseling, communication instruction (American Sign Language, speech, auditory training, speech reading, augmentative communication, public speaking, reading intervention, pragmatics, and communicative competence), audiology, occupational and physical therapy, vocational training, career counseling and transition planning.
The School supports a philosophy which includes the acquisition and development of two languages: American Sign Language (ASL) and English. The curriculum parallels that of any regular public school program with modifications made to meet the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing children. Culinary, physical education, and computer instruction are an integral part of the curriculum for all students. PDSD has the only comprehensive secondary program designed exclusively for deaf and hard of hearing children in the Phoenix area. Advanced vocational and career preparation programs are available to high school students through Metro Tech and the East Valley Institute of Technology. Completion of the academic/vocational course of study or the college preparatory course of study lead to the Arizona high school diploma.