The Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill have been serving the deaf since 1908 through our ministry at DePaul School for Hearing and Speech. Throughout these past 100 years, our sisters have successfully taught deaf and hard of hearing children to listen and use the spoken language—changing the lives of thousands of children. Many of our sisters have been a part of this important ministry over the years, initiating new techniques and programs to advance this form of education. Today, one sister, Sister Mary John Moore, serves at DePaul School for Hearing and Speech.
At DePaul, children are taught to understand spoken language and to speak clearly and with confidence while being provided a rich academic curriculum. In fact, DePaul is the only school in Western Pennsylvania where the integration of listening, speech, speech reading, and language development are taught in every classroom, every day. The school curriculum is closely aligned with state and national standards and the maximum student to teacher ratio is 4:1. A primary goal of the program is to give children the skills they need to succeed in a hearing world. By the middle-grade level, our students are able to join mainstream classes at their neighborhood schools, maintain their grades, make new friends, and graduate from our program.
Early diagnosis and intervention is important for both the parent and the deaf child. DePaul’s center-based toddler program is designed to meet the needs of deaf children 18 months to 3 years old and their parents. This program is available five days a week for three hours each day. Each child receives individual speech therapy by a certified speech language pathologist. In addition to the small group classes, individual parent and child sessions are scheduled each week with a certified teacher of the deaf. Through seminars and support groups led by certified teachers and counselors, parents are able to discuss the challenges they face and find solutions.
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