Equitable Education with Online Academy

Education is the foundation for people to gain the knowledge, critical thinking, empowerment and skills they need to make this world a better place. Access to that education is paramount in ensuring all students have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. Yet all over the world, access to education can be limited by numerous factors. Language barriers, gender roles, disabilities can all stall progress to provide quality education. For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, it is imperative to design accessible courses in order to provide them the same educational opportunities.

This is what inspired The American School for the Deaf (ASD) to develop their Online Academy. Online Academy will be the first accessible online education platform designed specifically for deaf and hard of hearing students, providing students all over the world easy, tailorable means of learning. Initially Online Academy will offer part-time core curriculum classes to supplement a student’s current educational programs. However, the future of Online Academy will include the addition of diverse course and curriculum offerings, looking to become a comprehensive full-time online program. ASD envisions that this will include extracurricular activities, support services, and much more. With Online Academy, students can benefit from an education tailored specifically to their needs, regardless of where they are around the globe.

Online Academy will be a fully flexible program, to best fit the needs of each student. For some students, it will be their primary source of education, while for others, it may supplement their current public or private school education. There is even the opportunity through the program for students to take advantage of tutoring opportunities to help them excel in their education elsewhere. It is up to the student how the program is used. The customization is there to help support students with a tailored curriculum and individualized support for IEP-specific goals. 

As the first permanent school for the deaf in the United States, founded in 1817, ASD is no stranger to pioneering new and innovative solutions to help deaf and hard of hearing students succeed both in school and in life. American School for the Deaf is a comprehensive learning community that welcomes all deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing children with unique communication needs. We develop the whole child – intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially. ASD is a leader in providing innovative programs and services for deaf and hard of hearing students, empowering them to become educated and self-directed lifelong learners.