History

Big building with columns, with people in 1900 clothing on side walk in front

Main  Hall, 1900

180 Years of Caring Innovation

As the first school for the deaf and the blind and one of the oldest schools in Virginia, the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) was established by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 31, 1838 and officially opened in 1839. It is located in historic and scenic Staunton, Virginia, a vibrant small town that is regularly cited for its beauty and quality of life.

VSDB’s gracious campus is characterized by green lawns, mature trees, and beautiful architecture. It is nestled on 73 acres of rolling hills and surrounded by mountain views. It is also within easy walking distance of downtown Staunton, a bustling district offering shopping, restaurants, theater, movies, art galleries, and a variety of services.

As the school celebrates almost 180 years of continued excellence in educating children who are deaf and/or blind, it remains at the forefront of educational technology. The school utilizes some of the latest and most advanced audiovisual equipment and disability tailored computer applications in its classrooms to provide its students with the best education. As on November 15, 1839—when the first students enrolled—the arms of the school are open wide and ready to serve Virginia’s children.

In 2009, the Virginia General Assembly established the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) in Staunton as a state agency with its own Board of Visitors independent of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The legislature directed the Superintendent of Public Instruction to designate a VDOE staff member to serve as consultant to the VSDB Board of Visitors on matters pertaining to instruction, federal and state special education requirements and school accreditation.

In 2017, VSDB was again accredited by AdvancEd under the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).