Students with all communication modes and devices are welcome at Iowa School for the Deaf! Some students have mild hearing losses; others are students who are profoundly deaf. Many students are somewhere between. Students and staff communicate in a variety of modes, too. Cochlear implants and hearing aids in bright colors are common on campus. Some students do not use any devices.
Visitors are surprised at how “loud” ISD really is! A flurry of signing and speech is evident both in the classrooms and throughout campus. American Sign Language is used on campus. Employees are required to attain and retain a level of signing, based on the amount of interaction they have with students. Depending on individual student needs, teachers sign, speak or teach using both communication modes. Primarily, teachers will use one mode at a time so the lesson is clear in the child’s preferred learning language.
Iowa Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We are non-biased about communication methodologies and believe that families will make the best choices for their child if they have access to good information and support. Our membership includes families who communicate manually and/or orally. From American Sign Language to cochlear implants, our organization represents people from all different approaches to (and experiences with) deafness or hearing loss.