Reader Contributed Schools

American School for the Deaf Collaboration Brings Innovative Learning Tools to Schools Nationwide

Gallaudet-Clerc Education Center. Submitted photo

American School for the Deaf in West Hartford is collaborating to bring ‘Thinking Maps’ to schools for the deaf across the country.


The American School for the Deaf (ASD) is pleased to announce a collaboration with Thinking Maps, Inc. and The Balance Between, Inc. to bring Thinking Maps to schools for the deaf across the country.  

Thinking Maps is an innovative tool that helps students translate their thoughts into concrete visual images. Using different Maps, each based on one of eight core cognitive skills, students can synthesize information for deeper comprehension and more effective analysis. The Maps are especially beneficial for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, who are highly visual learners.

ASD Executive Director Jeff Bravin said, “Since our founding, ASD has dedicated itself to the success of alldeaf and hard-of–hearing children. This new collaboration continues this tradition.”

ASD is currently in its third year of a five-year implementation plan and all teachers, administrators, and support staff have been trained in Thinking Maps. ASD’s goal is to implement Thinking Maps not only across all grade levels but across all departments. The new collaboration will include up to five schools for the deaf, with the first cohort beginning in the summer of 2019.

The collaboration will incorporate trainings for teachers of the deaf, curriculum development, technological support and onsite training. ASD will use their state-of-the-art Visual Communications Center to also offer an online and virtual component to this collaboration. 

Training will be provided by The Balance Between, Inc., a professional development and educational consulting agency that represents and supports Thinking Maps in the northeast region. All in-person training will be fully accessible through the utilization of American Sign Language.

According to ASD’s Curriculum & Instruction Specialist Christa Bolen, “Our deaf and hard-of-hearing students have always had the ability to analyze information and apply critical thinking skills, but didn’t always have access to the right tools. Thinking Maps allows our students to reach their potential by acting as a bridge between their thinking and how they express themselves.” 

About Thinking Maps, Inc.

Thinking Maps, Inc. helps teachers, schools and districts teach essential 21st century skills. Derived from research into how the human brain actually learns, their pattern-based tools, effective training materials, and vibrant online community create a solid foundation that enables teachers, students, and entire learning communities to share a common visual language – one that ties together thought processes and ideas and promotes increasingly important critical and creative thinking abilities. For more information, visit www.thinkingmaps.com.

The American School for the Deaf

Founded in 1817 as the nation’s first special education school, the American School for the Deaf remains a leader in providing innovative programs and services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people from birth through adulthood. Through its programs and services, ASD enables deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens of all ages to lead rich, productive lives as participating, contributing members of society. For more information visit www.asd-1817.org.

The Balance Between, Inc.

Successful efforts in teaching, learning, and leading all have one essential component in common: BALANCE. The Balance Between, Inc. offers support to all agents of learning in schools: teachers, specialists, coaches, and instructional leaders at both the school and district level. They are THE professional development company that can help school and district leaders, teachers and support staff as they strive to find “The Balance Between.” For more information, visit www.TheBalanceBetween.com.

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