DEAF AWARENESS WEEK, September 22-26 Celebrated at Texas School for the Deaf

Austin, Texas – September 22, 2014. Situated just south of the Colorado River, the school first opened in our state’s capitol in 1857 with a student body consisting of three Texas boys in a rented smokehouse turned classroom with one instructor. When a gentleman named Matthew Clark approached state leaders about the lack of a school for deaf students at that time, Texas’ 86th Legislature established the state school and tasked Clark with recruiting its first students. Through his travels during TSD's first year, Clark recruited eight more students.

Today, still on the same site now owned by the state of Texas, TSD’s 550+ students are enrolled from all across Texas – some who travel and reside in dormitories each week, Sundays through Fridays during the school year, and some Austin area residents who are daily commuters.

TSD students now range in age from 18-month old babies who attend short days onsite at the campus’s Toddler Learning Center and are visited at home by TSD’s Parent-Infant teachers, to high school students seeking career preparation in fields such as automotive collision and repair, culinary and fine arts,  computer technology and maintenance, small engine repair and welding, to and students 21 years of age completing work/study programs through TSD’s transitional Access Program.

In addition, the school’s outreach services – the Educational Resource Center on Deafness (ERCOD) – reaches out to assist the 7,000+ students who are deaf or hard of hearing in all schools in Texas. With its rich resources, TSD’s skilled staff and highly qualified leaders at its fingertips, ERCOD focuses support to help Texas students and their families achieve success where ever in Texas they may reside, while being a hub of information for educators and all professionals in fields of deaf education.

For 158 years, the Texas School for the Deaf has been the longest, continuously operating school in all of Texas. Now a leading-edge campus, renowned both nationally and worldwide for excellence, TSD is a model of deaf education – with fully accessible instruction in both English and American Sign Language (ASL).

TSD’s many opportunities for student involvement - such as competitive sports, theatre, visual arts, and student government - allow students lifetime experiences many would never get to experience in their home schools. With a large number of teachers and staff members who are deaf or hard of hearing themselves, TSD leaders also demonstrate accomplishments and a variety of pathways to success as adult role models.

More than just a school, TSD is a community, with a unique culture, and a home-away-from-home for both the students and dedicated staff and teachers, who are the true heart and soul of TSD.

Wednesday, TSD welcomes the famous Dr. Frank R. Turk to the school. Known as “The Father of Deaf Youth of America”, Turk visits TSD to meet with school leaders and student groups, sharing his secrets for a full and successful life - guiding principles Turk deems critical in proving to our young adults today that each individual possesses potential for leadership and intellectual growth, greater than what they may have been led to believe, and that failure is not defeat. 

An amazing and inspirational speaker, Turk has led a life full of community service to youth with outstanding accomplishments, including almost 20 years as the national director of the Junior National Association of the Deaf.

TSD’s doors are open to invite the community to share the week of activities and events, and learn more about the school.

TSD features a series of informational facts, a few ASL signs, and introduces some of its outstanding students to the community. Tune into the school’s website:, and as you drive by the south Austin campus at 1102 South Congress Avenue, be sure to notice the day’s events on the school marquees – on both sides of the TSD campus at South Congress Avenue and South First streets.

WHEN:          Monday September 22 – Friday September 26, 2014
WHERE:        Texas School for the Deaf
     1102 South Congress Avenue. Austin, Texas 78704

MORE: Daily updates featured at and on-campus marquees to include: 
  • Interesting facts
  • “Sign of the Day” in American Sign Language


Wednesday, Sep 24    
Dr. Frank R. Turk visits TSD:  9:00 am – 5:00 pm
TSD’s Heritage Center Museum Tours:  10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Friday, Sep 26 
TSD’s Heritage Center Museum Tours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm        
Varsity Football Home Game
TSD Rangers vs. Faith Academy: Kick-off 7:00 pm