The Top 5 U.S. and International Colleges for the Deaf

Although a deaf or hard of hearing college student today can attend any college, the colleges and universities established to educate these students retain their popularity. They also remain a source of identity and pride for their students and graduates, who are imbued with the sense of a deep heritage of success not only in education but in life.

Back of graduates during commencement at university
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If you or someone you know is considering attending one of the colleges for the deaf, here are some to consider.

Major U.S. Colleges for the Deaf

Here are the most well-known colleges for the deaf in the United States:

Gallaudet University

Located in Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University is the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the world. It's graduated 19,000 students who've majored in such rewarding and career-enhancing subjects as arts and media, business, human services, humanities, language/culture, and science/math/technology. Some 2000 students enroll at Gallaudet yearly.

In addition, Gallaudet has an undergraduate program for hearing students.

The long history of Gallaudet University goes back to 1850 when a man named Amos Kendall donated land to start an elementary school for deaf and blind students. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln took a brief moment during the Civil War to sign a bill authorizing the school to grant college degrees. More than a century later, in 1986, Gallaudet was awarded university status under the Education of the Deaf Act.

Gallaudet University is named for Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851), whose son, Edward Miner Gallaudet, was the university's first president.

National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) is a private technical college for the deaf in Rochester, New York. It's one of the nine colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology where, among more than 14,000 undergraduate students, 1,400 are deaf or hard of hearing. There are 200 programs of study for deaf students to choose from. You may also be interested to learn that Rochester is known for its deaf community.

By law, both NTID and Gallaudet University have approximately the same tuition costs, because both receive federal funding. This ensures that deaf students will choose their education institutions based on their educational needs rather than cost.

Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID)

The Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, a community college for the deaf in Big Spring, Texas, is part of the Howard County Junior College District. Opened in 1980 and designed for deaf students who want to prepare to go on to Gallaudet University or NTID, SWCID offers associate-degree and certification programs. Students may also use Howard College facilities and services for activities including athletics, student organizations, and class internships.

International Colleges for the Deaf

These are some examples of international colleges for the deaf:

Doncaster Communication Specialist College

Located in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom (UK), Doncaster Communication Specialist College also specializes in educating students with autism spectrum disorder. Enrolling students age 16 and older, the college provides vocational training in nine industries. Special services include instruction in life skills; business, office, and food service training; liaison with employers to place students in internship-like programs; and employee placement services for graduates.

National University Corporation of Tsukuba University of Technology

The only higher-education institute for the deaf and visually impaired in Japan, the National University Corporation of Tsukuba University of Technology (NTUT) has two campuses: the Amakubo Faculty of Industrial Technology and the Kasuga Faculty of Health Science, both located in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki, Japan. NTUT offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and provides a wide variety of student programs and services.

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  1. Healthy Hearing. Top Universities for Deaf Students. Updated September 15, 2016.

  2. Gallaudet University. Fast Facts.

  3. National Technical Institute for the Deaf. About.

  4. Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf.

  5. Communication Specialist College Doncaster.

  6. National University Corporation Tsukuba University of Technology.