The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University provides information, training, and technical assistance for parents and professionals to meet the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Their mission is to improve the quality of education afforded to deaf and hard of hearing students from birth to age 21 throughout the United States.
The Clerc Center also maintains two demonstration schools, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf.
Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) originated in 1857 as the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind with 12 deaf and six blind students. Today, KDES is a day school serving students from birth through age 15, beginning with the parent-infant program and ending in grade 8. Students come from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
The Model Secondary School for the Deaf Act (P.L. 89-694) was signed by President Johnson on October 15, 1966, and in May of 1969, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the president of Gallaudet College signed an agreement authorizing the establishment and operation of the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) at the College. Today, MSSD provides a tuition-free comprehensive day and residential four-year high school program for deaf and hard of hearing students from the United States and it's territories. MSSD students are expected to graduate ready for the challenges of adult life.
For more information about the Clerc Center or their schools visit their website at http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu