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National Deaf Academy Charter Info

National Deaf Academy Charter
Affiliated with NDA is The Charter School at National Deaf Academy (CSNDA). CSNDA is a Florida Department of Education chartered public school. It is located on the campus of NDA. As such, the two organizations work as partners to simultaneously provide quality mental health care, and K thru 12 special education services to all NDA residents under 22 years of age, who have not graduated from high school. CSNDA is staffed with Florida certified Deaf Education Teachers who are fluent in ASL. The classrooms are intensely staffed with a 1:3 staff to student ratio. The school is open 12 months of the year and operates on a quarterly schedule.

The Charter School at National Deaf Academy is under the supervision of Rebecca Hilding, CSNDA Director. An independent Board of Directors works with Rebecca Hilding to ensure education of the highest caliber, in conjunction with intensive psychotherapeutic services. Specialized programming includes: honors classes, remedial education, literacy programs, adult education, pre-vocational skills training and a highly specialized classroom for Autistic, Developmentally Delayed and Deaf-Blind students. All students have the ability to learn and utilize modern technology through individual instruction in CSNDA’s state-of-the-art computer lab.

As an adjunct to academic services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing students also receive services from a certified audiologist, speech and language pathologist, school psychologist, physical therapist and occupational therapist. These services are prescribed, on an individual basis, and documented in the student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). IEP meetings always include the custodial parent, as well as an assortment of educational and mental health professionals from both the student’s home school and/or CSNDA.

As a result of a grant from the Abel Trust, CSNDA has been able to introduce The Bridges Program into its curriculum. This program is designed to improve memory, coordination, attention span and sensory integration for the many Deaf and Hard of Hearing students with concomitant neurological disorders.


Established in 2000 by Dr. Alan Cohen, National Deaf Academy is a one-of-a-kind residential psychiatric facility exclusively for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and adults. NDA was born out of the trio’s longstanding frustration with traditional Hearing environments that claimed to be able to adequately treat Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in a "mainstream" program. In reality, these programs were unacquainted with the cultural and linguistic barriers that Deaf individuals frequently experience in their attempts to access mental health care. NDA strives to embrace the differences that exist between these two populations by creating a physical environment and philosophical ambiance that neutralizes communication obstacles and encourages growth in a safe and nurturing setting. American Sign Language is the primary language spoken on campus, and all staff—whether Deaf or Hearing—are expected to become competent signers.

Our Mission

• To provide the highest quality residential care to Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, adolescents and adults from around the world—without regard for race, religion or socioeconomic status.
• To provide a continuum of highly individualized services that encourages growth and independence in our residents.
• To develop the most innovative treatment models that utilize the most dedicated, highly educated and well trained staff available.
• To create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, “home-like” environment.
• To enhance the lives of our employees based on the expectation of excellence and the subsequent provision of job security and opportunities for professional growth.
• To develop research and training protocols in both educational techniques and therapeutic interventions that will further the world's understanding of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing experience.
• To provide resources and support to both our immediate neighbors, as well as the Deaf community at large.

National Deaf Academy Charter is a Charter School organization
Enrollment: 46
No. of Schools: 1

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