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

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. Want to know more about our St Joseph Institute Alumni Association (SJIAA)? Click Here to visit the SJIAA page.

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

An Interview with Monica, alum and recent SJI intern

I really enjoyed my internship at SJI. My favorite part was hosting the alumni event! It was so much fun to have my friends at SJI and meet other SJI graduates. I was happy to see my former teachers. I learned so much this summer! A big thank you to Ms. Cheryl for giving me the job and working with me!


Class of 2010, SJI

Monica, (SJI 2010) joined SJI as an intern in May 2017 and completed several projects around the agency. Before she left, we asked her about her summer.  Special thanks to the Admin staff who worked with her all summer and conducted the interview.
1. Why did you want to be an intern at SJI? I wanted to be an intern at SJI because I like to help people and work with a team. I think SJI is an interesting place to work because I like to organize stuff. I also wanted to be an intern at SJI because I wanted to give back and help my former teachers who taught me how to speak, listen, and talk with others.
2. Was it strange seeing your old teachers who were now your work colleagues? Was it weird eating lunch with teachers? No, it was not weird to see my old teachers as co-workers. It was a little uncomfortable at first eating lunch with former teachers because I still think of them as my teachers, even though I’m an adult now. After a couple of weeks, I felt comfortable to relax, talk with everyone, and have fun!
3. Has your internship changed what you think you’ll do for a job when you get out of school? No, I’m still interested in a job in business where I can organize, work on the computer, and help run the office.
4. What was most surprising? What did you like doing the best?  The most surprising thing about working at SJI was working an 8 hour day. It felt really long! The projects I did took a lot of hard work and determination. I really enjoyed organizing different parts of the building: toys, parent library, and IT items.
5. Did you discover a new skill by working at SJI? The new skill that I learned is how to create an inventory. I think it will be useful when I get a job in an office or in business after I graduate.

Our smiling alumni across the generations