The Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) began in 1858, inspired by the deaf brother of the school's founder, Joseph Henry Johnson. Over the course of its history, it had to become self-sufficient during Depression years, and expanded to include a school for the deafblind.
Deafblind students are served by the Helen Keller School of Alabama, on the same campus. Deafblind students and other students at AIDB can enjoy playing in the Hackney Play Therapy Center, a play area very similar to commercial indoor play centers. Students at HKS have very small classes, and all sorts of opportunities to build their independence skills and confidence, particularly horseback riding.
In addition to providing educational services for deaf children, ASD also serves as an interpreter referral service for the entire state of Alabama. The service provides a listing of regional centers around the state that can provide assistance with locating an interpreter.
AIDB publishes a magazine, Sights and Sounds. Among the interesting articles that have been published:
- an article mentioning that the great-great grandson of AIDB's founder was appointed to AIDB's Board of Trustees (Summer 2000)
- an article about a group of deaf students' mission trip to Jamaica (Summer 2000)
- an article about the regional centers run by the AIDB
A charitable foundation supports the AIDB. It was a foundation gift that enabled AIDB to build the Center for Excellence in Language Arts for young deaf children.