Educational Philosophy

No child is limited by hearing loss...

Every year, thousands of children are born with or acquire some degree of hearing impairment

Fortunately, 95% of these children have at least some degree of residual, or undamaged, hearing. Only about 5% have what can be termed as a "total loss" of hearing, for which the cochlear implant is now available. As a general rule, it can be said that if a hearing impaired child does not develop the ability to speak it is because he was simply not taught to do so. Since the 1860s, Alexander Graham Bell and other scientists concerned with the auditory process have known that any degree of natural hearing can be utilized as an aid to speech development.

As its name implies, the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf utilizes ORAL instructional methods for the purpose of developing speech and language skills. NO SIGN LANGUAGE IS USED. The common goals for every young student at the school are to LISTEN, LEARN, AND TALK. The Memphis Oral School for the Deaf program is one of a kind in the Memphis and Mid-South area. The primary emphasis for the children is on developing listening and spoken language skills. Once listening skills are developed a child can begin to develop speech and language skills that will allow them to communicate in the mainstream.

Some people believe that deaf children can do everything BUT hear, but with proper amplification (hearing aids or cochlear implants) the Memphis Oral School and those committed to the auditory/oral approach believe that deaf children can do everything AND hear! This is particularly true today with the advent of cochlear implants. Helen Keller was once quoted as saying, "Why should we be content to crawl when we can soar like an eagle?" It has been clearly proven over the last few decades that with early identification, appropriate and aggressive audiological intervention, and immediate training by skilled professionals, even the most profoundly deaf children can develop and effectively use hearing to learn speech and language. The objective of this specialized training is to utilize what hearing a child may have to assist in the development of speech, enabling the deaf child to become a part of, rather than apart from, A WORLD OF SOUND.

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