Since 1837, hundreds of students have attended St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf to learn listening and spoken language skills. Whether they were served in their homes as infants or stayed in our dorms, all received a quality education that changed the rest of their lives. Our students, armed with listening and spoken language skills, continue to mainstream elementary school, high school, college, and into chosen careers. They literally changed the way society thinks about those with hearing loss. And future generations are the beneficiaries of their effort and will continue to blaze paths of their own.

The image above, taken around 1940, is one of our oldest and most widely publicized. This image, entitled “Teaching the Deaf to Speak,” ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s initial series of photojournalism. New to the publishing world, it was designed to tell the story with few words. S. Anne is working with one of her younger students, Marlene, and using a speech mirror as they work on language development.

For 12 years attending SJI, I was in the Sisters of St. Joseph’s care, they have given me a good educational foundation, inspiration and most of all, love and friendship! The Sisters instilled in me the knowledge of who I am and what I was capable of.


Class of 1960, SJI

Daisy the Deaf Dino

We’re so proud to introduce to you one of our own who is helping others with hearing loss learn to communicate their needs. Sara received Early Intervention services through SJI and mainstreamed into a private school of the family’s choice. She is now a junior in high school, finished her AP exams for the year, and is enjoying the rest of this summer and beginning her college applications next year. Sara began Daisy the Deaf Dino because she wanted others to comprehend the challenges of having hearing loss. Her darling cartoons help hearing viewers understand the needs and feelings of those who use assistive listening devices. Check her cartoons out at Daisy the Deaf Dino!

Hear about the bright futures of our SJI alumni in their own words

Our alumni continue on in life to fulfill their hopes and dreams including law school, medical school, and middle school. Our former students have become physicians, lawyers, accountants, high school lacrosse players, and more. In Indianapolis, we’ve been serving the needs of students in the State of Indiana for over a decade. Our oldest alums are finishing high school while our youngest are just starting primary school.  No matter what age they leave us, they are always “our SJI students” and we are happy to hear of their progress.

More conversations with SJI alumni

James was diagnosed as an infant and his parents knew they needed to move quickly. The family attended our Early Intervention program until James reached second grade. Recently graduated from college, he’s got an inspiring message for SJI kids and newly diagnosed parents.