A Brief History The Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf: Changing the Name

The Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf (CCCBSD) was founded in 1876 as the New England Industrial School for Deaf Mutes.  Not uncommon for the time period, the curriculum revolved around trades such as farming, carpentry, chair-caning, and homemaking in a residential setting. Students grew most of the school’s food, reducing costs, and did many repairs themselves. The recommended method of education for deaf children at this time was the oral method along with speech and lip reading.

In 1922, the school’s name was changed to Beverly School for the Deaf to reflect a decreased focus from an industrial/trade school to a more academic setting, as well as the recognition that students could develop oral language skills. The school also became one of the first organizations in the state to register as a non-profit when that designation was created by the government that same year.

In the 1970s, the school expanded its mission from serving deaf, hard of hearing and communication-challenged children to also accepting hearing and deaf children with learning and developmental disabilities.

In 2004, the school began an expansion of its services to students with Autism, Developmental delays and other disabilities under the umbrella of communication challenges. In 2007, after nearly 15 years, the use of Signed Exact English (SEEII) was switched to American Sign Language (ASL) in supporting the visual communication needs of students. In 2008, the organization changed its name to The Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf (CCCBSD) to include students with a wide variety of special needs and communication challenges.

The school continues to grow and expand its services. CCCBSD offers consulting, ASL classes for babies through adults, as well as the Parent-Infant/Toddler program. To learn more about the history of the school, or arrange a tour, contact us at info@cccbsd.org.

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