1601 Northwest 12th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33156
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The Debbie Institute (Debbie School) is a division of the Mailman Center for Child Development within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and was established fifty years ago as a center for research, training, and service.
Aligned with the vision and mission of the Mailman Center, the Debbie School’s mission is to produce new knowledge and train future professionals while enriching the lives of young children during the critical years of early learning in an inclusive educational environment that creates the foundation for lifelong success.
Who was Debbie?
The University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development was founded through grants from the United States Public Health Service and the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation combined with a donation from Abraham and Joseph Mailman through the Mailman Foundation.
The Mailman donation was given in the name of Abraham Mailman’s granddaughter, Debra Jean Segal. The Debbie Institute was established in her honor as a demonstration school to develop innovative educational strategies, provide training and practicum opportunities for university students, conduct scientific research, provide community support, and become a proving ground for public policy.
Weeks Educational Center
For over forty years, donations from Weeks family have changed the lives of over a thousand young children with hearing loss and disabilities. The seeds for this endeavor were planted early in the 1980s with a generous donation from Austin Weeks. In 2015 Marta Weeks Wulf continued this extraordinary legacy by establishing the Weeks Educational Center at the Debbie Institute where our highly trained teachers and therapists work in partnership with families to promote optimal growth and development for each child enrolled in the Weeks Educational Center.
Auditory Oral Education Program provides early educational intervention services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing from birth to seven years of age in inclusive educational classrooms with children without hearing loss. The program provides an educational environment where children who are deaf or hard of hearing learn to communicate by listening and talking. Children enrolled use assistive hearing devices (hearing aids, cochlear implants, BAHA hearing devices) and the teaching methods rely primarily on listening skills for the purpose of developing spoken language as the method of communication.
Early Education Program provides early intervention services for children with developmental disabilities from birth through three years of age. Children enrolled in our center- based program receive early education services as well as speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. In addition, home based services are provided for children three hours per week.
Early Childhood Education Program provides services for children without disabilities from birth through four years of age in our inclusive classrooms in either the Auditory Oral Education Program or the Early Education Program.
Inclusion ClassroomsThe Debbie School’s inclusion classrooms provide a natural learning environment for children with and without disabilities. The curriculum is designed to prepare children with disabilities to participate in general education classrooms. Thoughtful inclusion opportunities are designed to meet the individual needs of every child to facilitate optimal learning experiences throughout the daily routine.
Outreach services include consultation, collaboration, technical assistance, and training in the areas of hearing technology and listening and spoken language development as well as academic domains for professionals and students in school districts throughout South Florida.
How To Apply
Children with disabilities and who might benefit from the services offered at the Debbie Institute are referred through the Early Steps Programs (North and South) and other community agencies. These services are funded through grants with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and The Children’s Trust. Families are not required to pay tuition.
Families interested in enrolling their child in the Early Childhood Education Program can apply below to join the waiting list. This program is funded through tuition fees.Waiting List Application
Early Childhood Education Program Fees (2020-21) Infant $900 per month Pre-Toddler $890 per month Toddler I $890 per month Toddler II $880 per month Preschool $860 per month Prekindergarten/VPK $650 (September-June) Daily Rate $50 Hourly Rate $5 Admission Fee $500 Annual Supplies Fee $450 Early Childhood Education Program Fees (2021-22) Infant $930 per month Pre-Toddler $920 per month Toddler I $920 per month Toddler II $910 per month Preschool $890 per month Prekindergarten/VPK $680 (September-June) PreK Summer $890 Daily Rate $60 Hourly Rate $8 Admission Fee $500 Annual Supplies Fee $500
- Easterseals South Florida
- Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe
- Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech Florida
- Early Steps Miami-Dade
- Early Steps Southernmost Coast
- Florida Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Student Education
- Florida Department of Health Early Steps Programs
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools
- Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
- Parent to Parent of Miami
- Resource Materials and Technology Center: Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Sertoma Speech and Hearing Foundation of Florida, Inc.
- The Arc of South Florida
- The Children’s Trust
- United Community Options of South Florida
- University of Miami Linda Ray Center
- Easterseals South Florida