History

On July 1, 2021, Mississippi Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (MSDB) officially became a combined school district after previously operating under the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). We are one district with two very distinct schools, Mississippi School the Deaf and Mississippi School for the Blind. The State Board of Education (SBE) remains the governing body for the MSDB school district.

Established in 1854, the Mississippi School for the Deaf (MSD) is the state’s official school for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. MSD currently serves 78 students on-campus from pre-K through 12th grade and an additional 70 students from birth to age 3 in our Ski*Hi Early Intervention Program. MSD uses a bilingual approach to education, instructing in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. This maximizes a child’s linguistic development and opens doors to their full capacity for academic excellence.

On March 2, 1848, the Institution for the Instruction of the Blind was officially established by the Mississippi Legislature as result of the hard work and dedication of blind philanthropist, James Champlain, and was later named Mississippi School for the Blind (MSB). MSB currently serves 43 students on campus from pre-K through 12 grade and an additional 35 students from birth to age 3 in our Ski*Hi Early Intervention Program.

In addition to our early intervention programs, MSDB offers other outreach services to families and schools who may have children who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or Deaf-Blind. The Mississippi Assistance Center (MAC) on our campus offers a full-time audiologist and part-time optometrist by appointment. The Mississippi Instructional Resource Center (MIRC) provides adapted textbooks and instructional resources to 350 students blind or visually impaired in 95 Mississippi school districts.