• My child is eligible for special education services under the category of Deafness or Hearing Impairment. What does this mean? What is the difference?

    According to the Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities (2008), Deafness is defined as a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is unable to process language through hearing, with or without amplification, and the child’s educational performance is affected. Students may also qualify under this category of the law if they have an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance, but that is not included under the definition of deafness. 

    Because the eligibility team at your child’s school agreed that he/she meets the criteria of the Ohio Operating Standards, your child will have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that will address his/her unique needs and allow him/her to access the grade-level curriculum to the greatest extent possible.  For those students who are unable to access the grade-level curriculum even with accommodations and supports, they will be taught a modified curriculum based on Ohio’s Extended Standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

    Can a student with Deafness attend any CMSD school?

    CMSD is committed to providing quality school choices for all families. Every school in CMSD is staffed with Intervention Specialists to support students in all disability categories with access to the general education curriculum along with specially designed instruction in academic areas. All schools also have access to related services (speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy) and postsecondary transition services. Intervention specialists may teach separate academic classes that allow the student to receive grade-level instruction using specially designed instruction and enhanced accommodations. 

    There are also specific schools in CMSD that offer enhanced, comprehensive services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. These schools offer the opportunity for deaf and hard of hearing children to interact with their peers and communicate with specially trained adults, which contributes to their social-emotional development. In these settings they also receive intensive language development and instruction in visual language (American Sign Language), spoken language, or both. The development of language and communication is essential to a child's social, emotional, and cognitive development.   The goal for each deaf or hard of hearing child is to acquire a solid base of language as early as possible, so development in all other areas will proceed accordingly. If language development proceeds, deaf and hard of hearing children have the potential to follow the same sequence and rate of development in other areas as children who can hear.

    What specialized instruction and related services will my child receive?

    The academic program for students with deafness or hearing impairment is planned, designed, and equipped to offer an educational foundation in all areas of essential academic requirements following the Ohio State Standards. Goals and objectives are developed through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is jointly implemented by the therapists, classroom staff, and parents.

    Preschool— We serve children from 3 to 5 years of age in small group settings where there is daily instruction using a cognitive based curriculum. The preschool objectives include assisting children in the development of a skillful communication system, assisting children in developing recognition of their self-worth, maintaining a program that is developmentally appropriate, encouraging children to become self-confident and independent learners and encouraging children to become problem solvers.

    Elementary School —The dynamic integration of information provides an exciting, stimulating learning environment. The classroom environments are rich in literature, art, and culture and reflect many hours of creative work and preparation by Special Education teachers.

    Middle School —The students at this level are passing through a very special and critical period; they experience more changes then in any other period of their lives. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of these students to acquire a successful transition from childhood to adolescence, both academically and emotionally.

    High School — CMSD offers a fully accredited high school diploma to graduates who meet the state requirements. In order to meet the diverse interests and needs of these students, the high school offers options. Some students pursue an academic course of study designed to prepare them for post-secondary education, while other students choose to pursue vocational interests. Vocational Assessment is available through the district and recommended to students beginning their high school years. After the assessment, the team agrees upon a plan that will be incorporated into the IEP in the following years.

    Inclusion — CMSD recognizes that deaf or hard of hearing students need to gain experience interacting with hearing children and adults. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing have the option to be educated within a classroom of students with normal hearing. Some of the support may include Interpreters, Special Education resource teachers, note takers, and assistive technology, where services are provided within the context of the regular classroom.

    Additional Resources

    Center for Parent Information and Resources – Deafness and Hearing Loss

    Deaf Education