A student considered to be deaf or hard of hearing is one who has a medically diagnosed hearing loss which results in such a substantial educational difficulty that he/she requires direct services on a regular and frequent basis by a qualified Teacher of the Hearing Impaired.

Most children with significant hearing loss will have been identified through an audio logical assessment prior to entering the school system. The protocol agreement between the Ministries of Health and Education regarding audiology services ensures that all students in the first year of the Primary Program receive a hearing screening.


School District No. 20 has on its staff a teacher of the Hearing Impaired. The teacher serves in an itinerant role and provides direct, as well as consultative service to schools and students. When required students may be provided with a teacher assistant or sign language interpreter. This is determined by individual student needs and means of communicating.

The Teacher of the Hearing Impaired should be an ongoing member of specific student's IEP team.


Any degree of hearing loss has educational implications, so following the identification of a student's hearing loss, an assessment to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the student in the areas of language development and communication skills may be required. This assessment, administered by the Teacher of the Hearing Impaired, may include the administration of standardized tests in the areas of ability and achievement, as well as curriculum based assessment and anecdotal reports. Program planning decisions and recommendations for placement of the student in a specific program should occur only after a full assessment has been completed.

A critical part of the assessment process is determining the method of communication to be used in the educational setting. While the majority of students who are hard of hearing will develop English language skills through the use of appropriate amplification and oral instruction, some students, often with more severe hearing losses, will require use of sign language.

The school district is responsible for assessing the most enabling language of instruction to allow a student who is deaf or hard of hearing to fully access the curriculum, and for providing staff with the qualifications to meet the specific communication needs of individual students.

Any student identified as deaf or hard of hearing requiring direct, regular, and frequent service must have a current IEP. Besides addressing the effects of hearing loss, and language development, the IEP must address the following:

1.  social and vocational needs arising as a result of the hearing loss
2.  auditory management
3.  speech development
4.  sign language as required


All students being assessed by a speech/language pathologist should be referred to the Teacher of the Hearing Impaired for an audiological screening. Students who have been identified by the health unit or audiology clinic must be referred to the Teacher of the Hearing Impaired using the district Hearing/Vision Referral form.

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