International Program

The American School for the Deaf: A Global Gateway to Deaf Education 

The American School for the Deaf is the first permanent school for the deaf in the United States and the birthplace of American Sign Language. ASD’s roots are international, and we believe that cross-country collaboration is the key to educational success for all deaf and hard of hearing students.

A Pioneering Tradition

Before 1817, deaf children in America did not have access to an education. That changed when a few dedicated community leaders came together to establish what is now the American School for the Deaf. To help establish the school, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet traveled to Europe in search of methods for teaching deaf students. During his journey, he met Laurent Clerc, a teacher at the French Institute for the Deaf in Paris. Clerc came to America - bringing with him French Sign Language - and helped to found the American School for the Deaf. Clerc became ASD’s first teacher, and American Sign Language was born.

Our Commitment to International Collaboration

ASD is revered as a national and world leader in the field of Deaf Education. We are regarded by other schools for the deaf as an innovator, with our programs often serving as catalysts for new program development – not only in the United States, but around the globe. ASD is committed to empowering deaf and hard of hearing children to reach their full potential. We provide a full range of programs for deaf and hard of hearing students (ages 3-21), as well as a Residential Treatment and education program for students with behavioral and emotional challenges.

For over thirty years, ASD has welcomed international students to benefit from our education services and communication approach. As a leader in the field of Deaf Education, ASD offers international middle and high school students (ages 12-21) a comprehensive educational program with mainstream opportunities both on- and off-campus. Our focus is helping our international students strengthen their English language skills, mathematical studies and American Sign Language skills – all while enjoying our vibrant campus life and exploring exciting American destinations.

The United Nations Commitment to Education

ASD shares in the philosophy of the United Nations, as stated in their Vision 2030 decree, that all children, of all abilities, have the right to an education. International students graduating from ASD receive a high school diploma (or equivalency certificate), and a majority go on to study at American colleges and universities, including Gallaudet University – the first postsecondary school for deaf and hard of hearing students in the world.
Who is this for?

International students who are deaf or hard of hearing



Language & Communication
American Sign Language & English

Average Class Size
8 students

Residential and non-residential
Quick facts
  • Intensive study of English language in partnership with Central Connecticut State University
  • Concentrated program leading to a high school diploma or equivalency certificate
  • Comprehensive transitional services
  • On-campus housing
  • Fully staffed Student Health Center
  • International liaison
  • Living environment that embraces students’ cultures
  • Weekend supervision including cultural experiences and trips
  • Exposure to and tutoring in American Sign Language
  • Speech and audiology services
Enrollment & More Information

Photo of Jenilee TerryJenilee Terry, Admissions Officer

The American School for the Deaf serves deaf and hard of hearing individuals from birth through adulthood with a variety of programs and services.