About us

Educational philosophy

Mission, vision and history

Learn about the Alaska State School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing's vision and how it got its start in 1972.  ASSDHH mission and vision


The educational philosophy of ASSDHH is based on our core values and the belief of child-centered learning. Each child’s individual needs, identified in the IEP, are first and foremost in determining the communication mode in each classroom. Learn more about the core values goals in  ASSDHH's Strategic Plan.


Communication philosophy

ASSDHH's communication philosophy is to help each student achieve his or her fullest potential in interactive communication while developing both English and American Sign Language competency. Students are encouraged to communicate freely and participate in a rich communicative environment.


Curriculum content is accessible to students through auditory, visual and written media, including American Sign Language (ASL), auditory training and amplification, conceptually accurate signed English, spoken and written English, gestures, pantomime, reading and writing.


Communication skills standards

On March 25, 1991, the Alaska Advisory Board for the Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing adopted standards for sign language communication skills.


Instructional staff members of the ASSDHH are expected to achieve specified levels of sign skill during each of the first three years of her or his employment, with expected sign communication skill standard achieved by the end of the third employment year.


Staff not achieving designated competency levels are expected to participate in sign language skill development opportunities identified by ASSDHH until he or she achieves sign skill levels specified for designated time frames.


Educational interpreters need to take the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA), an assessment tool used to determine the skill level of educational interpreters and mentors working with ASSDHH. The EIPA is administered upon hire and then again annually until the interpreter earns a 4.0 or greater on this rating instrument.


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