Welcome to Clarke
A New Day
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Clarke provides children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the listening, learning and spoken language skills they need to succeed. Annually, more than 1,200 children and their families benefit from programs and services at our five locations: Boston, Jacksonville, New York City, Northampton and Philadelphia.
Clarke impacts the lives of children and adults through educational and early childhood programs, hearing services, mainstream services, research, curriculum development and the teachers and professionals trained by Clarke who take their special skills to all parts of the world.
Formerly Clarke School for the Deaf / Center for Oral Education, in 2010, we changed our name to Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. This change reflects our distinct mission of teaching children who are deaf and hard of hearing how to listen and talk using the latest technology; and it also highlights our multiple locations—which continue to grow! Our new logo is a vibrant mark celebrating the growth and success of Clarke children. Each day, we watch and listen as they blossom—gaining confidence and acquiring the ability to reach their full potential.
As Clarke reaches more children than ever before, our mission remains unchanged: Providing children who are deaf and hard of hearing with the listening, learning and spoken language skills they need to succeed. Today, the possibilities for children who are deaf or hard of hearing are greater than ever before. We work with families and professionals to ensure that every child has the chance to reach their full potential.
Clarke was founded in 1867 in Northampton by Gardiner Green Hubbard, whose four-year-old daughter, Mabel, became deaf from scarlet fever. Firmly believing his daughter could speak and learn just like other children, Hubbard hired a teacher to work with Mabel on her speech and language. At age ten, Mabel did as well in the classroom as any of her hearing peers.
With the help of philanthropist John Clarke, Hubbard started Clarke School to help other deaf children learn to listen, speak and succeed. A trailblazing organization from the very beginning, Clarke became the first school in the country to teach deaf students using the oral method and the first to recognize the importance of successfully mainstreaming deaf students into their neighborhood schools. Through our partnership with Smith College, Clarke was also the first to train teachers in auditory/oral education.
Over the last two decades, universal newborn hearing screening and advanced technology like cochlear implants have made it possible for deaf and hard of hearing children to learn to listen and talk at earlier ages than ever before. Clarke has four additional locations in Boston (1995), Jacksonville (1996), New York (1999) and Philadelphia (2001) .
Clarke continues to evolve to meet the needs of children with hearing loss and their families through new initiatives like our expanded mainstream services. Despite the many changes Clarke has seen since its founding, our mission of teaching children to listen, talk and thrive has always remained constant.
Clarke is a listening and spoken language program, which means that we teach children to listen and speak, rather than use sign language. Children served by Clarke 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. Because of increased newborn hearing screenings and early intervention services, most children who come to Clarke are ready to mainstream as early as kindergarten.
There are many different schools of thought about educating children who are deaf and hard of hearing. At Clarke, we recognize that there is no single approach that is right for every child. We provide parents with the tools they need to understand their child’s hearing loss, make informed choices about educational options and find the path that is right for their family.
More Than a School
In addition to our school programs, Clarke also offers Birth to Three Services, Clarke's Summer Camp, Mainstream Services, Educational Evaluations and Professional Development opportunities. We also offer hearing services for adults on our Northampton and Philadelphia locations.
Whatever information you’re looking for, our professionals are here to help. Please contact any of our locations to learn more about Clarke’s broad array of programs and services.