In 1984 another first: in-school programs were expanded outside Michigan, into Illinois. Within 10 short years remarkable changes had occurred in the ministry of Lutheran School for the Deaf. Under God’s grace and blessings, this organization expanded its mission beyond the learning challenges of deafness to include a new range of other barriers to learning, ones less visible but just as real.
While the ministry had changed, the name had not. So in May 1990, at the annual meeting of the Association of Congregations, delegates voted to change the corporate name from “Lutheran School for the Deaf” to “Lutheran Special Education Ministries.
In 1991, with the cooperation of the Lutheran Schools Association of New York, evaluation and consultation services were initiated in New York.
No longer a residential school, the campus was sold in 1997 to Cornerstone Schools, but LSEM continued to operate its national office out of the Nevada Avenue campus. Later that year Lutheran Special Education Ministries, in conjunction with the Lutheran Association for Elementary Education expanded its in-school programs yet again, into Indiana.
From 1999 to 2006 LSEM expanded its in-school programs to Minnesota, California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. Expansion eventually included schools in Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and Idaho. In 1975 we served 50 students on a residential campus. Today we serve thousands of children across the country.
In 2012 LSEM moved its national office from the Nevada Avenue campus to Thirteen Mile Road in Farmington Hills, just northwest of Detroit. Eight years later LSEM moved to its current location on Geddes Road in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Each move resulting in greater efficiency so more of the ministry’s resources can be invested in children who have learning needs.
In 2023 we will celebrate 150 years of God’s grace and blessings. As we touch our past, we remember how God has sustained us to impact the lives of children with learning needs. As we embrace the future, we walk in faithful confidence that our God will continue to care for His children through Lutheran Special Education Ministries.
To God be the glory!