TSD A Rich History


Even before the rich history of the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) institution began, the land where the school resides today has served as a crossroads of early Texas history. Native American inhabitants, including the Tonkawa, and later the Comanche and Lipan Apache had been observed in the areas both north and south of the Colorado River. The higher grounds of the TSD campus has been well documented as a training site for local garrisons of the Confederate States Army.  

The Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) campus is older than the Texas State Capitol building. Founded in 1856 by the Sixth Legislature, TSD is the oldest continuously operating public school in Texas. Then known as the Texas Deaf and Dumb Asylum, the school was appropriated $10,000 (about $300,000 in today’s dollars) for the biennium. TSD has been located on the 67-acre site between South Congress Avenue and South 1st Street since its inception and has seen dramatic changes during its 166-year history.

Today, TSD is a welcoming, dynamic and diverse community collaborating with the global community. Our 67-acre campus is shared with community groups, non-profits, local law enforcement groups, theater groups, and other state agencies for a variety of functions from local running clubs to film productions. Through its Statewide Outreach Center (SOC) outreach efforts, TSD provides resources for parents, students, and professionals through a variety of specialized short-term programs, workshops, professional development, online resources, distance learning, information, and referral services.