The Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (CSDB) is a Preschool-12th grade residential school with post high school education, located just east of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. Colorado was still a territory when “The Colorado Institute for the Education of Mutes” was founded by Jonathan R. Kennedy in 1874. With an appropriation of $5000 from the Territorial Legislature, Kennedy opened the school on April 8, 1874. The school began in a rented house in downtown Colorado Springs with seven students, three of whom were Kennedy's own children.
In 1893, the school was renamed the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. Today, CSDB serves more than 700 students on campus and statewide. The current location was granted for the school by Colorado Springs' founder William Jackson Palmer. He granted land for several institutions in Colorado Springs, including the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind.
CSDB currently serves students and their families who are deaf, blind, or both. CSDB also provides outreach services to support students, families, and school districts throughout Colorado and coordinates the Colorado Home Intervention Program (CHIP) that serves deaf and hard of hearing students from birth to three years old within their home.
The campus houses three schools, one for students who are deaf, one for students who are blind, and one for post high school students. Preschool students all attend in a separate building as well. The Gottlieb building houses all students in the school for the deaf, kindergarten through 12th grade. It was rebuilt in in 1952 after fire destroyed the original building. In 2010 CSDB applied for and was awarded a BEST grant from the state to expand, renovate and update the building completely. Students who are blind attend classes in the Adams building. This building was part of the growth of the school during the late 60's which included the Stone building, where the current post secondary program is housed, the Lions building and the Adams building which was built in 1969. The Adams building has had updates to technology in the past 10 years to make the lighting adjustable to specific needs of students, installing large screen interactive monitors for educational rooms and updating the wireless infrastructure for students use of school provided devices.
Students who have completed all of their high school credits needed to meet graduation requirements can elect to defer acceptance of their high school diploma and join CSDB’s transition program, Bridges to Life (BtL). This program focuses on career readiness, post-secondary education and training, and independent living skills. BtL Opportunities include; paid work experiences, independent living skills workshops, such as cooking, home maintenance, health & safety, functional literacy and mathematics workshops and community participation and technology workshops.
Housed on the campus of the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB), the Colorado Instructional Materials Center (CIMC) provides braille and large print textbooks and novels, as well as instructional products, to teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) licensed by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for use by students who have been identified with “Visual Impairment, Including Blindness” in Colorado schools at less than college level. The CIMC is able to purchase books through funds provided by CDE and the APH Federal Quota Program.