The Sound of Sunshine
The Story of Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children
The story of a groundbreaking school in Texas
There were few options for educating deaf children when Dela White discovered in 1945 that her infant daughter, Tuleta, could not hear. Mrs. White took her to Los Angeles to enroll at the John Tracy Clinic, founded by the wife of actor Spencer Tracy and named for their deaf son. Mrs. Tracy was adamant that her son was not going to sign but would hear and speak, recalled Mrs. White. That’s what she wanted for Tuleta.
With Mrs. Tracy’s encouragement, Dela White returned to San Antonio, gathered a cadre of volunteers, and raised funds to start a similar school. In 1947 Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children opened its doors, with seven students, in a former estate caretaker’s cottage, painted in the donated bright sunshine color paint. A new building north of downtown became its home five years later.
As the student body grew to 200, in 2010 Sunshine Cottage moved to a twenty-acre campus where students from infancy through fifth grade benefit from the latest techniques in the teaching of the spoken word, a field in which the school has gained national and international recognition.