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.”