About us

Established in 2011 as The DeafVibe Foundation, we have supported Deaf clients to succeed through two year Career Colleges, Training Programs, or Certification Programs and on to a rewarding career.

From help making an admissions appointment and securing financial aid on through graduation and eventual job placement, DeafStudent.org is here to help!

If you are Deaf or hard of hearing and want to jump start your education and career, you’re in the right place.

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A lot of colleges know what they are supposed to be doing, but they don’t do it. We can’t force doors to open, but we can heavily persuade them. We are advocates.

Brian Bearden

Owner

Our Beginnings

Kristina Watkins was a faculty member teaching classes at Heald College in Portland, OR in the fall of 2010. She overheard her fellow faculty members discussing the issue of accommodations for two potential incoming Deaf students. She sent an email to her Deaf friend Brian Bearden.

The name DeafVibe was originally created, that same year, as the name for a Deaf social media website startup. A “Facebook” for Deaf culture, the concept never materialized beyond the backend IT phase. When Bearden found himself in an unexpected situation requiring advocacy, he used the DeafVibe entity name to lobby on behalf of students being denied services.

The name DeafVibe was originally created, that same year, as the name for a Deaf social media website startup. A “Facebook” for Deaf culture, the concept never materialized beyond the backend IT phase. When Bearden found himself in an unexpected situation requiring advocacy, he used the DeafVibe entity name to lobby on behalf of students being denied services.

After a relatively quiet first year in which we only had a handful of clients apply for services. We launched a nationwide marketing plan in 2012. Starting with the DeafNation Expo, in Denver, Colorado that May, we took on an aggressive nationwide campaign to raise awareness for equal access to all institutions of higher education.

After a trial in Denver, Bearden brought onboard eventual partner Robin Shannon from Washington, D.C. The two formed a formidable combination as they criss-crossed the country with their message while Watkins continued to handle administrative duties back at company headquarters in Vancouver. With demand skyrocketing quickly nationwide, we opened a small 200 square foot office in Riverside, California in September of 2012.

The first DeafVibe office was opened in downtown Vancouver, WA in February 2011. Constantly attempting to keep pace with demand, our growing staff has twice forced us to move to larger spaces. We currently call East Vancouver home with a 1400 square foot space complete with bright red carpet.

Realizing that their 2012 nationwide marketing plan was a smash success and acknowledging a clearly evident need among the Deaf for our services, Bearden decided to take it one step further for 2013. The DeafVibe Foundation 2013 National Tour was created to maximize outreach, especially in between the major anchor stops offered by the DeafNation Expo.

With the Tour, we were now able to spread awareness and offer our free services to pending High School graduates at all the state Deaf high schools, mainstream high schools with a considerable number of Deaf students, and regional Deaf centers, associations, etc. The tour was so successful, it has become an integral part of our constant push for equal access all across America and is easily recognizable by the national Deaf community.

The tour was so successful, it has become an integral part of our constant push for equal access all across America and is easily recognizable by the national Deaf community.

Join us for a bright future

Now you know our story, so apply today for yourself or give today to help someone in need.