Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
Programs for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The NIA's Programs for Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing are built upon the philosophy of TOTAL COMMUNICATION (sign language and speech). TOTAL COMMUNICATION helps hearing impaired children understand language. It is easier to learn new vocabulary when it is shown, as well as, spoken. A child can see the sign for an object. This helps the child understand and remember the word and its meaning. The process develops listening skills and visual attention. Both skills are important in the development of language. TOTAL COMMUNICATION helps the child learn a word's meaning and how to communicate it effectively.
The children also benefit from other services and experiences which may include, but are not limited to:
The NIA specialized counseling services for students with hearing loss are offered through a cooperative effort between NIA and member school districts when a child's IEP team determines that such services are warranted.
The most pervasive effect of hearing loss can be isolation due to communication challenges. The breakdown of communication between parent and child, child and teacher, and child and peers impact the child's sense of belonging. A sense of belonging is the foundation for developing positive identity and self-esteem. The counselors teach students self-advocacy and coping strategies to lessen the adverse effects of hearing loss.
The unique background of the counselors includes experience, education, and communication/signing skills which make them an essential part of the student's educational team.
Technical Assistance Supervision Services
The following is a list of services available from NIA. Specific services for a given year vary based upon need.
*Supervise classroom and/or itinerant teachers serving deaf/hard-of hearing students, providing technical assistance on an ongoing regular basis.
*Review failed hearing screenings and hearing referrals; assist and/or conduct educational environment observations, follow-through with recommendations and educational placement, if needed.
*Participate in developing comprehensive programs for deaf/hard-of-hearing children.
*Participate in educational placement of deaf/hard-of-hearing students in appropriate programs: parent-infant, itinerant, resource, or self-contained.
*Develop teacher skills in diagnostic testing for the objective measurement of student progress.
*Attend IEP meetings to provide technical assistance.
*Counsel parents in programming options for their deaf/hard-of-hearing children.
*Provide training for staff to improve skills and knowledge regarding current issues in the field.
*Complete teacher and interpreter evaluations or provide technical input to district/co-op staff regarding teacher performance.
*Complete annual Gallaudet survey of deaf/hard-of-hearing students.
*Coordinate caseload distribution between teachers; monitor caseload levels and schedules.
*Facilitate communication and equipment maintenance between audiologist and teachers of deaf/HOH.
*Provide staff with resources and information regarding professional growth activities.
*Schedule and/or attend team meetings.
*Serve as liaison between district/co-op and other hearing programs in the region or other professionals in the deaf/hard-of-hearing field.
*Assist with transition of children in early intervention services into school programs.
*Assist in recruiting, interviewing, orienting staff as vacancies occur.
*Coordinate operation of site-based hearing clinics and any district-specific hearing screening days.
*Observe staff and students in program and provide recommendations as needed.
*Work with staff to align goals and objectives with Illinois Learning Standards.
*Communicate with special education administration to solve program- or student-specific issues.
*Provide assistance to district/co-op regarding referral procedures and eligibility requirements for Teacher of Deaf/HOH, FM assistance.
*Collaborate with staff to write and accomplish professional goals.
*Serve as a liaison between the district/co-op and the Illinois School for the Deaf.
*Serve on statewide committees, boards, and task forces regarding educational programming, state issues, etc. for deaf/hard-of-hearing students.
*Conduct district and/or region-wide staff meetings.
*Coordinate annual needs assessment preparation; make recommendations to district/co-op administration for coming academic year.