St. Louis Central Institute for the Deaf: 100th anniversary


© Cris Watk -

The St. Louis Central Institute for the Deaf (CID), a leader in teaching children who are deaf to listen, talk and read without using sign language, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. According to a report in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, CID has served children with hearing disorders since 1914. Many of them lost their hearing later in childhood, meaning that they did not learn sign language from an early age.

CID uses the acoustic approach, in which students are aided by digital hearing aids and cochlear implants that allow for partial hearing, while simultaneously learning to lip-read. The aim of the school is to bring children to a level where they have learned sufficient speaking skills and hearing/lip-reading abilities to enter mainstream schooling.

Over the past 100 years, CID has grown from just 4 students when it started out to more than 200 children today. The students are infants and children up to 12 years of age and come from as far away as Mexico and India. CID was established in 1914 by Dr. Max Goldstein on his return to St. Louis after studying and working in Vienna, Austria, where he observed physicians using early versions of the acoustic approach.

In the 1950s, CID became the first institution for the hearing impaired to start working with infants in their homes. This has now become part of best practices in this specialization. “Our philosophy is to teach children how to talk and listen,” says Robin Feder, Executive Director of the Center. “Those skills open up opportunities to go to high school and college and get jobs and become successful doctors and lawyers.”

Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch