Helen Keller School

Image of HKS Student playing on the playground

HKS Overview

Alabama’s most famous citizen, Helen Keller, overcame a dual challenge of deafness and blindness through the strength of her spirit and the skills of her devoted teacher, Anne Sullivan. At Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), we have long recognized the very special requirements of children who are both deaf and blind or have other multiple disabilities.

The Helen Keller School of Alabama (HKS) began with a program created in 1955 to serve children who were both deaf and blind within AIDB and was named for the Alabama native when programs for children with multiple disabilities were consolidated in 1980. Serving children, ages three to 21, HKS provides individualized quality education, service and care which focuses on the abilities and potential of each student. Our program is nationally-recognized as a training center for teachers of children who are deaf or blind and multiply-disabled, and we are accredited by the AdvancED/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

As a residential school, educational opportunities continue in the HKS dormitories and through various field trips, Special Olympics, and horseback riding.

One skill crucial to all our students is communication.  Learning to express oneself  is a major accomplishment — the cornerstone for all the achievements to come.  Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may learn American Sign Language (ASL).   Students who are blind or have vision loss will begin to learn how to get around safely in any environment using skills called Orientation and Mobility.  Assistive technology helps overcome many difficulties faced by people who have vision or hearing loss, and these skills are taught when appropriate.

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There is no tuition, room or board charged for students whose families are Alabama residents.