Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program (D/HH)

Special Education Service Delivery Model in the OCDSB: A Guide for Parents Of Students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing
Description
 
The Ministry of Education defines the exceptionality of Deaf/Hard of Hearing as:
 
An impairment characterized by deficits in language and speech development because of a diminished or non-existent auditory response to sound.
 
The OCDSB supports students in a variety of ways, including in a regular class environment or a specialized program class environment. The OCDSB Specialized Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Program classes are for those students who have been diagnosed with a primary sensorineural hearing who, in addition to targeted Tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions, would still benefit from a specialized program class.
 
 
Here Is What We Do To Support Students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (Tiered Intervention Approach)
 
There is no specific time requirement for each intervention; the length of time an intervention should be tried is dependent on the individual strengths and needs of the learner. Which interventions are tried also depend on the individual strengths and needs of the learner; there is no one-size that fits all.
 
School Based Support (Tiered Intervention) MAY include but not limited to:
· Classroom Teacher
· Learning Support Teacher
· Learning Resource Teacher
· Principal/Vice Principal
· Educational Assistant
· Early Childhood Educator
· ESL Teacher
· Multi-Disciplinary Team (Psychologist, Speech/Language Pathologist, Social Worker, etc.)
· Parent(s)/guardian(s)
 
 
Classroom based supports (Tier One Interventions) for students who are Deaf or Hard-of -Hearing in the regular classroom MAY include but not limited to:
· Identification of strengths and needs
· Classroom observation and tracking
· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback
· Classroom assessments
· Differentiation of instruction, environment and/or assessment (e.g. ability grouping, visual supports, use of assistive technology)
 
School based supports (Tier Two Interventions) for students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing MAY include but not limited to:
· In-School Team Meeting Referral
· Targeted, precise specific instruction to adhere to need
· Development of Individual Education Plan (IEP)
· Educational Assessment (e.g. Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, third edition (WIAT III), Canadian Achievement Test, fourth edition (CAT/4))
· Specific differentiated supports in place for areas of strength and need (e.g. alter tasks based on ability, social skills building activities, use of assistive technology, visual schedules, organizational skill building)
· Continued parent/guardian consultation
· Consultation with other departments (i.e. Curriculum Services, Business and Learning Technologies, Facilities and Planning)
 
Other school based supports (Tier Three Interventions) for students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing MAY include but not limited to:
· Cognitive Assessment (WPPSI, WISC-IV/V,)
· Counseling (social emotional support as needed)
· Continued development of IEP
· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback
· Multi-Disciplinary Meeting/Updated action plan (e.g. type of assessments used; SEA application; further opportunities to work with other learners; intensive school based support strategies; student-centered project based learning opportunities; referral for community agency support; specialized program class referral)
 
Identification as a Student with an Exceptionality of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing VS Eligibility for a Specialized Program Class:
Students may be Identified with an exceptionality of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and not placed into a Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing specialized program class. In these cases the student would be integrated to the greatest degree and receive support from an Itinerant Teacher of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing.
 
 
Specialized Program Class: Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing
 
Specialized Program Classes Available
Grades K – 8
Class Sizes
Grades K – 8 - 10 students per class
 
Assessments, Documentation, and Student Profile for Referral
 
Physical Assessment To ensure best practice, a current audiology assessment from an audiologist is required.
Criteria: diagnosis of a permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
 
Cognitive Assessment
To ensure best practice, current psychological assessment (within the last 2 two years) or verification from a psychologist/psychological associate that an assessment completed more than two years ago continues to be valid is required. The OCDSB will prioritize assessment, for students being considered for a referral to specialized program classes for the following school year, based on need by the multi-disciplinary team and parent consultation. We support this process internally.
Criteria: there are no specific criteria of intellectual ability. The report should indicate the student’s intellectual ability is such that they can work toward the provincial curriculum, with modification and accommodation.
Student Profile
Due to the permanent hearing loss, parents have chosen American Sign Language as a method of communication. Students must require intensive support to progress through the provincial curriculum expectations. Necessary modifications and accommodations are outlined in an IEP. The student must demonstrate an ability to progress through the Ontario Curriculum with the necessary modifications and accommodations. A students’ current report card and current IEP are required in a referral.
 
Social/Behavioural Profile:
There may be social and/or behavioural factors that warrant being explained as part of a referral process. This information is helpful to provide a fulsome picture of the learner. These social/behavioural observations may be within the classroom and/or at home. Information with social/behavioural challenges and a list of intervention strategies could be included in a referral.
 
Additional Supporting Information
Additional information may be helpful to support a referral to the Specialized Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program. This information may be relevant to the student’s needs and programming requirements. Additional supporting information may include information from a Social Work Assessment, anecdotal report from school/home/caregiver (list of behavioural, academic and social challenges; include a list of interventions), Occupational/Physiotherapy Assessment, and/or an additional Speech/Language/Cognitive-Communication Assessment.
 
Specialized Program Class Referral Process
 
Referral Process for the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Specialized Program Class for OCDSB students:
· Deadline for a referral to a Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing specialized program class is determined by Learning Support Services. (usually the beginning of April)
· OCDSB referrals are coordinated through the multi-disciplinary team at your child’s school.
· All questions relating to this process can be directed to your child’s current school.
· Referrals will be considered throughout the year (not only April) on a case by case basis. Once the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing program committee has confirmed that the student meets criteria, if space is available an offer for placement may be made at that time.
Referral Process for the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Specialized Program Class for non-OCDSB students:
· Parent(s)/guardian(s) should discuss a possible referral with the principal at their OCDSB community school
· Deadline for a referral to a Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing specialized program class is determined by Learning Support Services, as above
· Please review OCDSB current criteria for our programs on the OCDSB website prior to requests for referral forms
· The referral documentation must be completed as a joint effort between parent(s)/guardian(s), OCDSB community school, and child’s current school
· Preference for placement is given to OCDSB students who meet criteria
· Referrals will be considered throughout the year (not only April) on a case by case basis. Once the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing committee has confirmed that the student meets criteria, if space is available an offer for placement may be made at that time.
 
Other Information Regarding Referral Process
· The committee begins reviewing referrals in April for placement in the following academic year. Referrals are not considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parent(s)/guardian(s) participate in this process, their input is required as part of a referral form.
· Those students who meet criteria will be placed dependent on availability and home address. All those who have met criteria and who have not been placed will remain on a wait list and will be placed throughout the year as spaces become available (wait lists do not carry over to the next academic year)
· Referrals may be submitted at any time throughout the year and will be reviewed by the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing committee upon their next meeting. At that time, if the student has met criteria, a placement may be offered, depending on availability
· Please note: further information about referrals can be provided through Learning Support Services (LSS) upon request.
Final Note:
We support learners in a variety of ways within the OCDSB. We recognize that each learner has their individual strengths and needs and that what works for one may not work for another within a similar profile. We allow external referrals to the specialized program classes and welcome students within the Ottawa area to consider any OCDSB school as we endeavor to support our learners, both within the regular class program and within a specialized program class.
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