Image of female teacher signing with young student

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Programs

The NIA's DHH Programs are for students in Preschool to High School who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The NIA Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program recognizes and supports the diversity of each student. The programs are built upon the philosophy of Total Communication (sign language, speech, visuals, AAC etc). We utilize research based practices to meet their academic, social emotional and vocational needs. We facilitate independence and self-advocacy to empower students to make successful life choices.


  • Development of Speech Skills - focus on articulation goals critical for speaking and comprehension.
  • Language development - for improved understanding, ability to communicate thoughts and understand concepts related to reading, language, social studies, science and math.
  • Auditory Skills Enhancement - incorporated into curriculum daily. Individual or small group sessions for concentrated attention and specific aspects of listening.
  • Social & Emotional Skills Development - individual or small groups focus on relationship building, coping skills, acceptance and strategy building.
  • Intensive Academic Instruction - small groups with focus on vocabulary, comprehension and language development that target academic and vocational areas.
Additional Services that may be offered:
  • Educational audiologist services
  • Speech and Language therapy
  • Mainstream activities
  • Counseling
  • Specialized evaluations
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Vision services

Who We Are

Our Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program consists of Teachers, Interpreters, Paraprofessionals and a Counselor who hold the proper license and certification in the state of Illinois. We also have dual certified Teacher-Interpreters who split their time between roles in order to meet student needs. All of our staff utilize sign language and spoken language to communicate with the students. The supervisor of the program is also licensed in the area of Deaf/Hard of Hearing education. We continue to build our skills through ongoing continued education courses including Illinois Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Illinois Service Resource Center and internal professional development.

Image of female teacher listening to a group of students

D/HH Services Contacts

Julie Lenz
D/HH Program Supervisor
1600 Big Timber Road
Hampshire, IL 60140
(779) 212-5979
Email Julie

Find us in Northwestern Illinois

4 Office Locations

  • Sycamore
  • Rockford
  • St. Charles
  • Sterling

5 Hearing Clinic Locations

  • Aurora
  • St. Charles
  • Rockford
  • Sterling