About RSD

Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) is a private, caring, tuition-free school where Deaf and hard-of-hearing children, newborn to age 21, thrive. Educational programs are provided at no cost to families. Our highly-trained professionals provide students direct access to communication in a rich and vibrant bilingual – American Sign Language (ASL) and English – environment. Students at RSD also receive individual attention as they learn and grow together in a safe, inclusive environment.

Rooted in Rochester History

Since 1876, RSD has helped children reach their greatest potential by offering a fully accessible, interactive communication environment, including educational, evaluative, and social programs. RSD continues to ensure that all resources are easily accessible to students and their families so they can focus on what’s most important—an enriching educational foundation for a lifetime of success.
Rochester is home to a thriving Deaf community – one of the largest per capita in the nation. We partner with RIT/NTID and many other community organizations to capitalize on the opportunities that foster exceptional programming and community building, supporting our students’ identity development and sense of place and belonging. 

Where Students Belong, Lead, and Aspire

RSD is a partnership that includes exceptional faculty and staff, involved parents, and a dedicated community of volunteers. It’s an inclusive environment where children who are Deaf and hard of hearing have access to extraordinarily rich academics at a tuition-free day school that offers residential opportunities as well.
We offer early childhood to K-12 programs, and professionals with the skills, dedication, and desire to help children who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing build a successful future. In addition to academics and a broad array of support services, RSD provides opportunities for students to engage in a wide range of athletics, extracurriculars, and after-school programs. We offer an exceptional and engaging experience where our students belong, lead, and aspire.

Students and Districts Served

31 students in our Early Childhood Center (FIRST Deaf Infant Program and Preschool)
98 students in Grades K-12
30+ school districts from central and western New York send students to RSD
27 students participate in our residential program, living on campus Monday through Friday
January 2024 data

4201 School

RSD is one of eleven Section 4201 schools created by legislation to educate New York State’s deaf, blind, and severely physically disabled students. These eleven schools form the 4201 Schools Association, which advocates for our students, schools, and the continuation of specialized services. 4201 schools are not merely an educational option for children with low-incidence disabilities; they are often the most constructive and appropriate learning setting, enabling students to discover, communicate, and interact in the least restrictive environment. Visit the 4201 Schools Association of New York State Web site.