Our school district, LSDVI (Louisiana Schools for the Deaf and the Visually Impaired) has a rich and distinctive history. Our two schools, LSD (Louisiana School for the Deaf) and LSVI (Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired) have a common "ancestor," the Louisiana Institute for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. This Institute was established in 1852 by act of the Louisiana General Assembly. 


The Louisiana Institute for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, in the 1800's


(Above)The Louisiana Institute for the Deaf and Dumb could be seen from the Mississippi River.

(Below) During the Civil War, it was used as a hospital for Union soldiers.During the Civil War, the School for the Deaf and Dumb served as a hospital for Union troops. 

In 1870, another Act of the Legislature separated the Louisiana Institute for the Deaf and Dumb from the Louisiana State School for the Blind. In 1898, the Louisiana School for the Blind moved to its former Government Street location, where it remained until the summer of 2009.

The home of the Institute for the Blind
The Institute for the Blind 

In 1908, the Louisiana Legislature listened to the petitions of lobbyists and changed the name of the Louisiana Institute for the Deaf and Dumb to Louisiana State School for the Deaf

In 1920, Legislative Act No. 159 established separate schools for black children who were deaf or blind. The Louisiana State School for Blind Negroes began operations in 1922, and The Louisiana State School for Deaf Negroes began in 1938. These schools were located on the campus of Baton Rouge's Southern University and A&M College.

The State School for Deaf Negroes and State School for Blind Negroes were located on the campus of Southern University
The State School for Deaf Negroes and State School for Blind Negroes were located on the campus of Southern University.

The Louisiana State School for Deaf Negroes later became known as Southern School for the Deaf (SSD); The Louisiana State School for Blind Negroes became known as the Southern School for the Blind.

A 1977 Legislative Act  called for unified operations of the schools serving black students and white students. The Southern School for the Blind joined the Louisiana State School for the Blind on Government Street. The unified school had a new name: Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired.

LSVI was located on Government Street until the summer of 2009.
LSVI was located on Government Street until the summer of 2009.

The Southern School for the Deaf joined the Louisiana State School for the Deaf. LSSD had just completed the first construction phase of an entirely new campus on Brightside Lane. The "new" Louisiana School for the Deaf would operate on two campuses, North Campus (the old Mayflower site) and South Campus (the new Brightside facility) for six years. In 1985, Phase 2 of the Brightside campus was completed, staff and students made the move down the Mississippi River to South Campus, and North Campus was closed.

In 2009, LSVI moved to the LSD campus on Brightside Lane. A new school district, LSDVI (Louisiana Schools for the Deaf and the Visually Impaired) was created, restructuring operations so that facilities and many services could be combined and shared. Throughout all of the moves and changes, the commitment of the faculty and staff to provide excellence in education has never wavered.

For more information about our schools, please visit their websites: