Deaf and Hard of Hearing Department
To be the support that bridges our students in meeting their lifelong potential. To provide the best services for our students, we cannot stand alone. Our most important role is the collaboration we foster with our families, students, teachers, staff, and the community. We accept this responsibility in bridging together the various individuals, resources, and technology which contribute to each child’s success.
A student who is deaf or hard of hearing is one who exhibits a hearing loss, whether permanent or fluctuating, that interferes with the acquisition or maintenance of auditory skills necessary for the normal development of speech, language, and academic achievement. [Refer to 34 CFR 300.7 (3), (5)]
Students from 3-21 years who have a hearing loss and have a documented need for special education services are considered an eligible individual who receives services according to an Individual Educational Plan (IEP).
All children, including children who are deaf or hard of hearing, have the right to an effective and efficient communication system. These communication systems include non-verbal, oral or sign systems. A solid communication base is a precursor to language development. The communication and language needs of students vary depending on factors such as: age of identification, age of amplification, etiology of hearing loss, presence or absence of additional disabilities, family dynamics, etc.
Luckner, Sebald, Cooney, & Muir (2006) found that students with a hearing loss progress through similar language stages as students without a hearing loss, but need more opportunities for direct instruction and time to practice the new skills. Instructional strategies such as rehearsal and intensified instruction have been found to support the students development. In addition, teaching students how to gain knowledge about new vocabulary through contextual cues will provide them with the skills to learn independently (deVilliers & Pomerantz, 1992). Unfortunately, the field of deaf education does not have access to a large body of evidence-based research in which to support literacy development (Luckner, et.al., 2006). Therefore, it is important to monitor the progress of a student through all communication areas for strengths and areas of need. Progress monitoring and skill building is important to the natural use of effective communication (Robbins, Koch, Osberger, Zimmerman-Phillips, & Kishon-Rabin, 2004).
“Effective communication is an important ingredient of healthy psychological functioning” (Marschark, Lang & Albertini, 2002, p. 60). All students must have a rich language base and develop a strong communication mode that allows them to have reciprocal interactions with peers, family members and professionals. The ultimate goal is for the student with a hearing loss to become a successful and contributing member of society.
The area of Communication includes: Auditory Skills Development, ASL Development, Speech Development, Receptive Communication, and Expressive Communication.