The consortium of graduate-education, research and clinical programs known today as CID at Washington University School of Medicine was born out of the pioneering efforts of St. Louis physician Max Goldstein, MD. In 1914, he founded the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID), where doctors and teachers worked together to help deaf people. When CID’s school building opened two years later, its auditory/oral methods for instructing children who were deaf or hard of hearing were groundbreaking.

Washington University and CID first joined forces in 1931, when CID’s established teacher training program became the first deaf education undergraduate program to affiliate with a university.  Graduate programs in deaf education, audiology, and speech and hearing sciences soon followed.

CID’s research efforts began in the 1930s to study the anatomy and science of hearing.  During World War II, CID’s research on hearing loss in military personnel laid the foundation for the field of audiology.  CID also pioneered hearing testing and hearing aids and opened the country’s first hearing aid clinic in 1941.

In September 2003, a new affiliation transferred CID’s graduate degree programs, research programs and adult audiology clinic, along with its building, to Washington University School of Medicine. The CID school continues to operate on the School of Medicine campus as CID – Central Institute for the Deaf.

Today, these programs continue to work together to fulfill a shared mission to serve people who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Child Education

  • First parent-infant program for hearing-impaired children (1958)
  • Development of materials for assessment of early speech perception and word-recognition skills in children and adults (since 1914)

Graduate Education

  • First deaf-education teacher training program affiliated with a university (1931)
  • First deaf education master’s program (1936)
  • Among the first audiology training programs in the country (1947)


  • Development of digital hearing-aid technology (early 1980s)
  • Seminal findings about how the ear works, hearing loss and rehabilitation (since 1930)
  • Leading textbooks in the field (since 1930s)

Clinical Care

  • One of the country’s first-established otolaryngology departments (1896)
  • Nation’s first hearing aid clinic (1941)
  • Development of commonly used materials for speech recognition testing in adults and children (since 1952)
  • Conducted the country’s first NIH-funded investigations on pediatric cochlear implantation (since 1980s)