The Queensland School for the Deaf, in Dutton Park, was run by a committee of private citizens until 1918 when the State Government took control. The school was known under various aliases during the years but it is only offically called the Queensland School for the Deaf. It opened 1 February 1883 and closed December 1988 with any children remaining being placed into the mainstream school system.
According to the Narbethong State Special School website's History page:
In 1886 under the provision of the 'Hospitals Act 1847-1891' the Queensland government vested a site of some ten acres in Trustees for the benefit and use of blind persons and deaf persons. These Trustees included 3 persons appointed by the Governor. The site was at Cornwall Street, Annerley.
A workshop was opened in 1887 and 4 blind and 2 partially blind men were admitted. Educational programs, a 'home' and a school for blind students were established in Queensland on the 1st February, 1893. The one teacher, Miss Sharp, struggled with the education of 20 children of both sexes, some of whom were blind and some deaf.
In 1897, the education of the deaf was conducted in separate classes. In 1908, a request was made to have the compulsory clauses of the Education Act of 1875 made applicable to blind and to deaf children. This was finally agreed to in 1924 under the 'Blind, Deaf and Dumb Children Instruction Bill.
From the commencement of the school, the Education Department was involved in payments to the Board for the salary of the teacher and for each child. In 1950, nominal boarding charges were abolished giving free board to all resident pupils.
From 1883 until 1963, deaf and blind students were educated on the same site at Cornwall Street, Annerley.
In 1963, blind students were transferred to the newly created School for the Blind (Narbethong) at Buranda, which was housed in the grounds of the previously closed Buranda Girls and Infants School. The Narbethong State Special School was established for the education of blind and low vision students. It was located on the site of the previous Buranda Infants School.
In 1968 both vision and hearing impaired children were educated at the special school. Visually handicapped children continued to be housed at the Institution for the Instruction of the Blind, Deaf and Dumb until 1969, when a Private Accommodation Scheme was established, which placed country children with host parents in the metropolitan area.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Queensland School for the Deaf (Agency ID 6605)', in Queensland State Archives website, Queensland Government, 2004 -2013, http://www.archivessearch.qld.gov.au/Search/AgencyDetails.aspx?AgencyId=6605; State of Queensland (Department of Education, Training and Employment), Narbethong State Special School: History, Queensland Government, 2013, https://narbethongspecs.eq.edu.au/Ourschool/History/Pages/History.aspx.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 2 December 2013, Last modified: 19 October 2018