About the Focus Area

Become a School Social Worker
With Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children!

About the Program

Statistics from the US Department of Education tell us that there are almost 71,000 children with hearing loss in grades one through twelve. There are more than 12,000 deaf-blind children in our schools. The number of children with cochlear implants is rising dramatically each year.

Yet most mainstream schools and deaf schools do not have trained support staff to work with these children.


  • The families of deaf children may need additional information and supports
  • Deaf and hard of hearing children develop their strengths and self confidence with feedback from professionally trained staff
  • There are many deaf children with multiple areas of need: deaf-blind children, those with attention deficit or other physical and emotional needs
  • Children with cochlear implants must have qualified professionals on their team
  • Families from diverse cultures who have a deaf child may look for added supports in getting a culturally appropriate education for their child
  • The School Social Work focus area increases your employment options and qualifications for working with children and families in a variety of settings such as child and family service agencies, community based and inpatient mental health programs serving children, and child welfare related services.

Why Gallaudet?

  • The Gallaudet Department of Social Work is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  • Accredited by the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Licensed by the District of Columbia.
  • Our graduate students are immersed in a strong curriculum that focuses on the strengths of deaf and hard of hearing people and on personal and community empowerment.
  • Special courses such as School Social Work Policy, School Social Work Practice, and Play Therapy focus on skills needed in the school system
  • Graduates develop strong sign communication skills

Internships are diverse and provide excellent learning experiences:

  • Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Carl Sandburg Learning Center
  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Kendall Demonstration Elementary School
  • Maryland School for the Deaf (Columbia and Frederick Campuses)
  • Model Secondary School for the Deaf
  • Prince William County Public Schools (Marie Reed, Woodrow Wilson)
  • Washington DC Public Schools
  • Prince Georges County Public Schools
  • The River School
  • Clerc Center
  • St. Coletta

Broader, semester-long internships across the country have now been developed for the advanced year internship. Although not limited to the following, possible internships include:

  • Lexington School for the Deaf, New York
  • Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick
  • American School for the Deaf, Connecticut
  • California School for the Deaf, Fremont and Riverside
  • Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind
  • Tennessee School for the Deaf
  • New Mexico School for the Deaf
  • Illinois School for the Deaf
  • Beau School for the Deaf, Cameron, South Africa
  • Washington State School for the Deaf
  • Delaware School for the Deaf
  • Montogomery County PS
  • The Learning Center, Mass.
  • Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

Graduates have found excellent employment opportunities. Recent graduates work in school settings with deaf children in:
Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, The District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Texas, New Mexico, California, Missouri, Washington, Delaware

Come Join the School Social Work Focus Area!

For more information, contact: Martha Sheridan, (Martha.Sheridan@gallaudet.edu)

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