View ASL announcement (same as English content below):
We wish to take this opportunity to recognize the passion of parents, alumni, and community members who are taking part in ongoing rally efforts at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB). Audism at our school is a concern, and it deserves attention from us all.
In our efforts to be responsive and continue to provide high quality education programs to all FSDB students, we will be moving to an American Sign Language (ASL)-English bilingual and bicultural philosophy for the Deaf Department programs including instructional, boarding, athletic, and afterschool activities. This shift in no way detracts from our focus on provision of individualized learning in line with the communication needs of all FSDB deaf and hard of hearing students.
Our commitment to high educational standards is further validated by recent accreditations from AdvancED and the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD).
We have already begun the planning process for initial implementation of an ASL-English bilingual and bicultural learning environment at FSDB, which will begin in August at the start of the 2016-17 school year. This is a major undertaking that will require several years and the commitment of all involved for full implementation.
Research has shown that bilingual learners can have rich literacy skill development and can acquire multiple languages to give them more effective tools for communication starting at an early age. With systematic, explicit, and individualized instruction in both ASL and English we believe the high quality education we provide for FSDB students will be greatly enhanced.
Ongoing training for FSDB teachers, staff members and students as part of this programmatic shift will emphasize respect for all cultures, including ASL and Deaf culture, and all communication needs and preferences. This includes signing at all times in the presence of deaf and hard of hearing students, staff, alumni, and visitors.
Consistent with this, FSDB is committed to provide a fully accessible ASL-English bilingual and bicultural learning environment that enables deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled in pre-K through grade 12 and continuing education programs to achieve their maximum potential and become productive, involved members of American society.
Your support for our efforts is vital and we welcome, as always, ideas and recommendations from campus and community stakeholders.
Dr. Jeanne Glidden Prickett
Update from the FSDB President (FSDB April 29, 2016)
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) is a fully accredited state public school and outreach center available tuition-free to eligible pre-K and K-12 deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired students. Comprehensive educational services at FSDB are individualized, specific to the unique communication and accessibility needs of each student for independence and lifelong success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. To visit the school or to learn more about eligibility for enrollment, contact 1-800-344-3732. For more information, visit www.fsdb.k12.fl.us.