Skip to content

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center

Building the Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth

For more than 150 years, Gallaudet University has been dedicated to academic excellence nationally and globally. Today, Gallaudet University continues to invest in and create resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them through the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center.

The Clerc Center at Gallaudet University has a range of programs, resources, and services that includes the following:

Clerc Center’s National Deaf Education Center

The Clerc Center at Gallaudet University is your one-stop for deaf education resources. It provides information, training, and technical assistance for families of and professionals working with deaf or hard of hearing children.

Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES)

Located on Gallaudet’s campus, KDES is an accredited day school for deaf and hard of hearing students from birth through 8th grade. KDES is the Clerc Center’s demonstration elementary and middle school. Tuition is free, and students are from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD)

Located on Gallaudet’s campus, MSSD is an accredited four-year school with day and residential deaf and hard of hearing students. MSSD is the Clerc Center’s demonstration high school.
Tuition is free and students come from all over the United States and its territories.

Gallaudet Youth Programs
Through summer camps and competitions during the school year, high school and middle school students develop skills, analyze within, and challenge themselves while forming relationships with their peers.
Early Intervention Programs
The Clerc Center and KDES also provide early intervention programs and resources, including the Early Childhood Education Center’s Parent-Infant Program and sign language classes for families.

The Clerc Center models best practices in deaf education nationally

The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center is federally funded and offers rigorous academic programs to the diverse population of deaf and hard of hearing students ages birth to 21 in the nation. The Clerc Center also provides early intervention services, sign language classes, and other uniquely designed resources for deaf and hard of hearing children and their families.

Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD)

The Clerc Center operates KDES and MSSD as K-12 demonstration schools in service to the nation. Both schools collaborate with educators and researchers from across the country interested in exploring bilingual teaching practices.

Through its affiliation with Gallaudet University, a renowned institution of research and teacher education, University students and researchers learn with and mentor MSSD students. These advantages ensure dynamic practice and current theory in addition to a one-of-a-kind education for each student.

Gallaudet Youth Programs

Gallaudet University offers a number of exciting, empowering programs and competitions for deaf and hard of hearing youth up to age 18. These offerings support your child in developing identity, knowledge, skills, leadership, and self-confidence.

Yellow Arrow

Our Youth Programs are open to all students from any middle school or high school!

Enriching Summer Programs

For middle school and high school students

  • Discover Your Future
  • Immerse Into ASL
  • Bison Brainiacs
  • Got Skills?
  • Deaf Youth Pride Camp
Four students

Engaging Competitions

Online and on site, regional and national!

  • Academic Bowl
  • Debate Bowl
  • Battle of the Books
  • National Literary
  • Competition
  • Trivia Cup

In any of our Youth Programs, students can continue to learn and improve their American Sign Language (ASL) skills. One of the best ways to learn ASL is to interact and make connections with peers. Through our camps, programs, and competitions, students immerse themselves into a journey of self-discovery along with the support of peers.

Clerc Center Resources and Research

The Clerc Center supports families of deaf and hard of hearing children and offers resources to ensure their development and success.

Parent Advocacy App

The Parent Advocacy app helps families understand their deaf or hard of hearing child’s rights and prepares them to work with the school in the best interest of their child. They also learn how to be the best advocate for their child before, during, and after attending Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, 504 meetings, and other types of meetings.

Gallaudet University Regional Centers

Through partnerships with Gallaudet University Regional Centers (GURCs) host institutions, the regional centers share the Clerc Center’s resources and expertise through training programs, workshops and conferences, youth programs, technical assistance, and consultation. Gallaudet’s undergraduate and graduate programs are frequently shared as well.

Find your nearest regional center:

  • East: Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA
  • Midwest: John A. Logan College, Carterville, IL
  • South: Austin Community College, Austin, TX
  • West: Ohlone College, Fremont, CA

More Information and Resources

There is a wealth of knowledge in the signing community and at Gallaudet University that continues to grow. Check out more resources and gather all the information you need for your child’s or your student’s success.

This site is designed to share information and provide resources with families and professionals on a variety of topics related to deaf and hard of hearing children and youth under 21 years of age.

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate