About ASDB

ASDB Mission

We are committed to respect, support, and the wellbeing of all

We are committed to excellence and innovation in:

  • Education for all children, throughout Arizona, who are hard of hearing, deaf or have vision loss
  • Leadership and Service
  • Collaboration with families, school districts, communities, and others
  • Partnership with other agencies that will enable children who are hard of hearing, deaf or have vision loss to succeed now and in the future

The Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB) was founded in 1912 – the year of Arizona’s statehood. ASDB serves over 2,000 children who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind from birth to grade 12. ASDB operates two schools for the deaf, one school for the blind, a statewide birth-to-three early childhood and family education program and five regional cooperatives which provide services to students attending a local school. ASDB is dedicated to empowering diverse, young children and students with the educational opportunities necessary to succeed in college, career and life.

In 1912, Arizona’s first state legislature enacted a provision forming the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB). Henry C. White, the first principal, was appointed by Governor George W.P. Hunt. When classes first began in October of 1912 there were only 19 students who were deaf or hard of hearing. Classes were held in a converted residence on the University of Arizona (UA) campus in Tucson.  Over the years, the school continued to grow, and eventually became a public corporation governed by a board of directors. For over 100 years, ASDB has provided students with a well-rounded, high-quality education through a variety of classes, sports, extracurricular activities, events and academic programs.

The Tucson campus now has over 25 buildings—athletic recreational facilities, dormitories, libraries, laboratories and classrooms. One of the most noteworthy buildings is the Berger Performing Arts Center, which is renowned for its spacious seating, superb acoustics and highly popular performances of local, statewide and national artists. The Tucson campus is also recognized for its beautiful landscaping, important place in Arizona history, and well-maintained open areas.

Arizona School for the Blind and Arizona School for the Deaf reside on the ASDB Tucson campus.


The Tucson campus maintains both a day program and a residential program. Students participating in the day program attend school during the day and then return home later in the afternoon.  Students in the residential program live in on-campus dormitories, returning home when school is not in session.  There are four dormitories available for students who are deaf and hard of hearing and four dormitories available for students who are blind or visually impaired. Each dorm has a team leader, teaching parents, residential services assistants and a night supervisor who oversee the safety, well-being and social needs of each student in their care.

Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) is an ASDB school campus located in Phoenix. PDSD was established in 1967 because Phoenix parents wanted their children, who were deaf or hard of hearing, to go to a school closer to home. Over 350 students attend PDSD, which offers instruction from preschool through 12th grade. In addition to classroom instruction, PDSD provides services such as counseling, communication instruction, audiology, occupational and physical therapy, vocational training, career counseling and post-school transition planning. PDSD strives to provide students with language skills in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English.

In 1987, ASDB established the first of five regional cooperatives to ensure students receive the best education possible throughout the state of Arizona. The five regional cooperatives are: Southeast Regional Cooperative in Tucson, Southwest Regional Cooperative in Yuma, Desert Valleys Regional Cooperative in Phoenix, Eastern Highlands Regional Cooperative in Holbrook, and North Central Regional Cooperative in Flagstaff.  ASDB Regional Cooperatives’ services include: assistance with identification of student needs, evaluation of educational progress, specialized instruction and related services, specialized equipment and materials, implementation of accommodations and modifications in the general education program. ASDB Regional Cooperatives serve over 1100 students.

The ASDB Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) program has been providing services to families with deaf or hard of hearing and blind or visually impaired infants and toddlers since 1973.  ECFE currently serves approximately 400 children and families statewide.  The certified early childhood teachers of the deaf and the blind work in collaboration with the Arizona Early Intervention Program and regional Early Intervention Teams. Most of ECFE’s services are provided in natural environments (typically families’ homes) but they offer some center-based and Internet-based services as well.

Through modernization and diversification of its operations, curriculum growth and expansion of learning opportunities, ASDB continues to lead the nation in serving students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired or deafblind in the state of Arizona.