About Clarke

Mission: Clarke has proudly served the needs of children with hearing loss since 1867, and now, in 2010, our mission has not changed: providing children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the listening, learning and spoken language skills they need to succeed. Clarke has always been a leader in the field of auditory/oral education, and our programs and services have evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of the children and families we serve. Clarke provides services out of five campus locations – Boston, Jacksonville, FL, New York City, Northampton and Philadelphia.

Philosophy: Clarke is an auditory/oral program, which means that we teach children to listen and speak, rather than use sign language. At Clarke, almost all of the children use cochlear implants and hearing aids to maximize their access to sound, and our specially trained teachers, audiologists and speech language pathologists help them develop listening, literacy and spoken language skills to maximize their learning. Our goal is to prepare children to succeed in mainstream classrooms alongside their hearing peers. Clarke is committed to working one-on-one with each family to help them understand their child’s hearing loss, make informed choices about educational options and find the path that is right for their family.

History: Clarke was founded in 1867 in Northampton and has been a trailblazing organization from the very beginning. Clarke was the first school in the country to teach deaf students using the auditory/oral method and has trained more than 1,400 teachers of the deaf who are now teaching in 34 countries around the world, through our partnership with Smith College. Over the last two decades, universal newborn hearing screening and advanced technology like cochlear implants have made it possible for children who are deaf and hard of hearing to learn to listen and talk at earlier ages than ever before. In response to a growing need for auditory/oral services for young children, Clarke opened its four additional campuses (the first in 1995) to broaden the impact of our services and expertise. In 2010, we changed our name to Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. This new name focuses on what we do – teaching children to listen and talk – and is designed to help families, professionals and the public better understand the important work we do.

Impact: Today, Clarke is offering more services, to more children, in more places than ever before. Whether attending a Clarke school in Northampton, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, or Jacksonville, or receiving services from among our dozens of specialized programs, over 1,200 infants, toddlers, children, and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing benefit from being part of Clarke each year. Clarke’s Northampton campus serves children from birth to age 18 through our early intervention programs, preschool/kindergarten classes, elementary and middle school classes, mainstream support services, and speech and language services. We offer a unique learning environment designed to maximize each child’s development, while building their self-confidence and preparing them for success beyond Clarke. We partner with parents to provide the skills, knowledge and support they need to help their children reach their full potential. Clarke’s Hearing Center also offers comprehensive hearing health services for children and adults in the community.