The DuBard School for Language Disorders was established in 1962 and is a clinical division of The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Speech and Hearing Sciences. The school was designed to serve students with severe language-speech disorders, including developmental aphasia and childhood apraxia of speech, deafness and hearing impairments, as well as those with the written language disorder of dyslexia.
The DuBard Association Method is a phonetic, multi-sensory teaching-learning strategy designed for students with language deficiencies. The school was founded by Dr. Etoile DuBard, who was one of Mississippi’s first “speech correctionists.” Dr. Dubard was a pioneer, both nationally and internationally, in the development of services for language and speech disorders, as well as learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.
The DuBard School services include full-time enrollment for children ages three to 13, out-client therapy to clients of all ages, evaluations and referrals, as well as professional development opportunities to individuals throughout the country. Their enrollment is capped at 80 full-time students, who attend daily, so there is typically an 18 month waiting list for students and families trying to enroll in their program.
Prior to enrollment, students receive diagnostic services to determine his or her speech-language needs. These services are provided at no cost and made possible by donations to the school. Funded by the United Way, and several other local businesses, the DuBard School for Language Disorders is free for students and their families to attend.
Families come from near and far to provide this opportunity for their children. Some have even moved from across the country, sold their homes, and found new jobs in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, all so their child could attend The DuBard School. With class sizes of 10, and one on one intensive therapy, there is not a comparable school in the country, which is why many call it “The South’s Gem.”
The University of Southern Mississippi offers their students fantastic, fun, learning opportunities through their various education departments, athletic programs, and other affiliate sponsors. Through their successful methods, their goal is to improve student’s oral and written language skills, enabling them to transition back to their traditional school districts.
In the words of a former parent, “The Dubard School completely changes the lives of its students and their families.”
Ask any former student, their parents, or a community member of the Hattiesburg area, and they will agree wholeheartedly with this statement. Much like a real gem, The Dubard School is an invaluable, bright, and shining pillar of hope for so many people, which is why they receive over 400 referrals each year.
To learn more about, or donate to, The Dubard School for Language Disorders, check out their website at https://www.usm.edu/dubard/dubard-school-history-mission.php or unitedwaysems.org