Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
- Our services
- Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Groner Deaf/Hard of Hearing Classroom
- American Sign Language Assistant
- American Sign Language Interpreter
- Professional Learning
Teachers of deaf/hard of hearing
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) program at NWRESD is a part of Oregon’s Low-Incidence Regional Programs. Itinerant teachers serve D/HH students who are eligible for Special Education or Section 504 services at the student’s home school.
Teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing provide consultation services to district staff members depending on the specifications of a student’s individualized education plan (IEP). The consultation focuses on mitigating the impact of a child’s hearing loss on their access to auditory information within the classroom environment. Consultation may include identifying common accommodations for students with hearing impairments such as providing the teacher and student with an FM systems and making sure the child is sitting in the most ideal location in the classroom.
Teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing provide direct instruction to students as per their IEPs. Direct instruction is typically in the areas of reading, written language, self-advocacy, or other areas which are most commonly impacted by a student’s hearing loss. Service time for direct instruction is determined by the specific goals written on student IEPs.
Teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing support evaluation teams by conducting classroom observations, administering formal and informal assessments, assisting in helping to obtain current audiological information and summarizing their findings in a report, which is considered by eligibility teams.
The D/HH program at NWRESD offers 6-week sign language classes once or twice a year. These classes are available for free to district staff and family and community members. Additionally, teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing provide in-service trainings to school staff members on the specific hearing needs of individual students. Other professional development and trainings are available upon request.
The Audiology program at NWRESD consists of one educational, pediatric audiologist and an administrative specialist. The audiologist’s role is to evaluate the hearing of children from birth to age 21. Children are tested within the NWRESD evaluation booth, and evaluations offer both quantitative and qualitative information regarding the educational impact of said hearing loss. The NWRESD audiologist offers recommended classroom accommodations to assist in mitigating the impact of the hearing loss and supports educational teams in selecting appropriate FM listening devices for use within the classroom setting.
The audiologist is available to provide consultation to students and their parents of
children who are regionally eligible for services under the Special
Education category of Hearing Impairment. Consultation can be specific to classroom accommodations but may also be related to amplification devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, BAHAs (bone anchored hearing aids) or FM systems.
Parents of eligible children can purchase hearing aids through NWRESD at wholesale prices.
Hearing evaluations required for determining initial Special Education eligibility are completed through contracts with school districts. Once a student has a Special Education eligibility under the category of Hearing Impairment, hearing evaluations are conducted free-of-charge to school districts and parents. Completed audiological reports are disseminated to the requesting case manager as well as to the itinerant teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing who serves the student.
Audiology workshops and trainings are offered at district request, or when there appears to be a need for multiple districts to receive the same information at one time. Previous workshops have included training on how districts can administer hearing screenings, how to use an otoacoustic emissions tool and parent trainings on amplification device options.
Groner Deaf/Hard of Hearing program
The Groner D/HH classroom program is a classroom-based program for children from kindergarten through grade 8. The program is located within Groner Elementary School in Hillsboro, Oregon. This language-rich program is intended for children for whom Hearing Impairment is their primary disability and for whom Amrican Sign Language is expected to be a primary communication modality. Students participate in instruction both within the mainstream setting and the D/HH classroom where they receive direct instruction from a licensed teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing.
The teacher of the D/HHdeaf/hard of hearing provides direct instruction in American Sign Language (and in voice for those who require it) throughout the day to students based on their IEPs. Direct instruction is provided in the areas of reading, written language, self-advocacy, Deaf culture, general language development, and/or other areas that are most commonly impacted by a student’s hearing loss. Service time for specially designed instruction is determined by the specific goals of each student’s IEP.
The classroom teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing provides consultation to regular education teachers at Groner Elementary and supports the students within the D/HH program by ensuring that certified educational interpreters are providing appropriate access to the general education curriculum at each student’s language level. Consultation is also provided to the parents of students who attend the Groner D/HH program, and information regarding new vocabulary/signs is provided to them to enable them to communicate effectively with their children.
The D/HH program at NWRESD offers 6-week sign language classes once or twice a year. These classes are available for free to district staff, family, and community members. Additionally, teachers of the D/HH provide in-service trainings to school staff members on the specific hearing needs of individual students. Other professional development and trainings are available upon request.
The classroom teacher of the D/HH supports evaluation teams by conducting classroom observations, administering formal and informal assessments, assists by helping to obtain current audiological information, and summarizing findings in a report, which is used by eligibility teams.
American Sign Language assistants
American Sign Language Assistants are classified instructional assistants who have a level of ASL fluency which meets the needs of the student to whom he/she is assigned. Generally an ASL Assistant is assigned to a student who has not yet developed the basic level of ASL fluency which would be needed prior to using an ASL Interpreter within a mainstreamed setting. ASL Assistants provide direct instruction on sign language acquisition, generally while students are mainstreamed but otherwise unable to access information auditorily. This service is most commonly seen as a precursor to a student later using an ASL Interpreter as a means of accessing information.
American Sign Language Assistants may act as a resource or provide training to staff and students, and may serve as members of the IEP team.
American Sign Language interpreters
This specially trained professional facilitates communication between deaf and hard-of hearing students and hearing staff and students. Interpreters function as a member of the educational team per IDEA regulations and may be an important part of the support services provided to students who are deaf. The educational interpreter conveys the content, intent, and affect of the speaker through interpretation. The educational interpreter may also provide tutorial assistance under the guidance of a licensed educator. ASL Interpreters through NWRESD meet or exceed the educational and certification qualifications identified by the state of Oregon.
The educational interpreter may act as a resource or provide training to staff and students, and may serve as members of the IEP team.
NCHAM has released a new tool to support families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH). The printable resource, available in English and Spanish, contains information about family-lead organizations to meet the child’s needs and provide family-to-family support.
Meet Our Team
Laurie Harrison, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Coordinator