The National School for the Deaf was founded in 1965 by the Sierra Leone Society for the Deaf. It is a voluntary and non-governmental organization. This organization depends mainly on charity and has little support from the government. The school is non-residential and is located at Wilkinson Road .
The aims and objectives of the school are to help the deaf children be part of the society in which they live and to have as normal a life as possible within the community, thereby encouraging them to use whatever little hearing they have in order to acquire language and education and have a vocation.
The school is a nonresidential coeducational special day school and includes preschool to class six as well as a small vocational workshop for children who do not excel academically. Children are taught all subjects as in a regular school but with Sign Language and Speech included to meet their challenging needs. After 2 years of class six work, they take the National Primary School Examination and go to the mainstream school to continue their secondary education (the teachers in the mainstream schools usually do not have expertise in teaching deaf children).
In Sierra Leone, deafness is one of the disabilities that is usually ignored or, rather, to which little or no attention is paid, while other disabilities are given maximum attention. Deafness in most cases is associated with other physical disabilities like lack of speech, brain injury, etc. Due to the invisibility of this disability, it is referred to as the unseen handicap, thus it creates less attention and interest, especially in Sierra Leone society. Most of the children are from poor homes and find themselves plagued with many problems over the years.
The National School for the Deaf is faced with many challenges including a lack of school materials. On Tuesday, December 11, 2013, EFH donated 50 sport packs, each containing a dictionary, notebooks, and pencils, to girls at the National School for the Deaf. The staff and girls were very grateful and appreciative of the donation and kindly asked the EFH team to consider them for future donations.