A Tradition of Innovation
St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1837. In 1934 SJI became one of the first school in the nation to educate children with hearing loss through Listening and Spoken Language therapy, an auditory-oral method that teaches children to listen, read, and speak.
Continuing this tradition of innovation, SJI offered the first comprehensive cochlear implant educational and therapeutic models for students. In the early 1980s, SJI became the first school to create a curriculum specially designed for children with the new cochlear implant technology.
In the 1990s the main campus in St. Louis, Missouri expanded its reach by opening locations in Lenaxa, Kansas and Indianapolis, Indiana that continue to offer a variety of programs and support services for children from birth through early elementary levels.
In 1996 SJI made its mark in mainstream academics by becoming the first school for the deaf to be fully accredited by the prestigious Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).
The innovations continue as SJI pioneers the next level of therapy for deaf and hearing impaired children with cochlear implants, one that breaks down barriers and brings our listening and spoken language therapists to them regardless of the child’s location. In 2009 SJI launched “ihear,” tele-therapy services provided over the Internet to reach children in need wherever they may be.