The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) is located on a beautiful 21-acre campus in suburban Pittsburgh. WPSD is tuition-free for any Deaf or Hard of Hearing (H/H) student in Pennsylvania and provides a wide variety of quality academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs to Deaf and H/H students.
WPSD provides an all-inclusive communication environment. Communication needs are met on an individual basis, with an emphasis on full access to American Sign Language (ASL), sign supported English, and spoken English. WPSD serves students with a wide range of hearing losses. More than 30% of the student population use cochlear implants and 52% use hearing aids. Speech/language pathologists, audiologists, a school psychologist, ASL teachers, reading specialists, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, guidance counselors, and an art therapist provide support services to students. The Residential Program, open to students from preschool through the 12th grade, is also an integral part of WPSD. A student residence, completed in the fall of 2014, offers students a safe, modern, home-away-from-home.
Utilizing the newest technologies including a 3D printer and laser router, WPSD offers a challenging academic curriculum based on state and national standards, including unique STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) opportunities in computer science and robotics. WPSD partners with Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf to offer students college coursework and transferable college credit.
WPSD hosts a thriving performing and visual arts program. Students perform in a variety of school plays and other stage productions, working with Attack Theatre, a nationally-known, professional theatre group. A complete campus television studio gives students broadcast experience on-camera or behind the camera as they create and produce a weekly news program for the school. In the video production class, students create and produce movies, which often win awards in local competitions.
Mainstream opportunities are offered through a variety of settings off-campus, including at East Catholic, a local elementary school, Forbes Technical Center, a local career and workforce training center, and the students’ home school districts. All students have the opportunity to participate in after-school programs, including a variety of clubs and a comprehensive sports program, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball, and cheerleading.
WPSD offers students a wide variety of travel opportunities during the school year. Visits to places such as Washington D.C., New York City, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg are incorporated into the academic curriculum and locations like London are extra-curricular options for students.