Deafness or individuals experiencing hearing deficits is considered a Regional (“low incidence, high need “) disability. The Deafness or Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) Program through Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District (LBL ESD) provides family focused, early intervention home-based services for children who are birth-3 years. School age services are provided to students in their educational setting which includes both preschool-based services for children three to five years old and primary/secondary services for students Kindergarten through 21 years old. Depending on the student’s educational needs, services can range from direct instruction to consultation for instructional staff. Students may be served in their neighborhood school or at a center site where other students experiencing hearing impairments or deafness attend.
Who is Eligible?
When a student is identified as having a hearing loss, a multidisciplinary team including the parent(s), D/HH Teacher, district representatives, etc., first meet to review documentation and decide if a referral for Deafness/Hard-of-Hearing services and evaluation is appropriate. Parent(s) or school staff may initiate this process. If the team agrees, an evaluation is completed by the D/HH Teacher and any other related specialists. After the evaluation, the team meets to review results and determine if the student qualifies for special education under the eligibility of Hearing Impairment. To qualify for LBL ESD Cascade Regional D/HH Program services, a child/student must reside in Linn, Benton, or Lincoln counties and meet the following state requirements:
- Documented pure tone average loss of 25 dbHL (decibels Hearing Level) or greater in the better ear for frequencies of 500 Hz (hertz), 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz; or
- A loss of 35 dbHL or greater in the better ear for frequencies of 3000 Hz, 4000 Hz, and 6000 Hz; or
- A unilateral hearing impairment with a pure tone average loss of 50 dbHL or greater for the frequencies 500 Hz to 4000 Hz; and
- The hearing loss can be sensorineural or conductive (if the conductive loss has been determined to be currently untreatable by a Physician, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant).
- The hearing loss has an adverse impact on the student’s educational performance or child’s developmental progress as determined by the Teacher of the D/HH’s evaluation and any additional assessments or information provided by other team members.
Oregon Administrative Rule 581-015-2150 https://oregon.public.law/rules/oar_581-015-2150
Direct services may be provided to the student by the D/HH Teacher through any combination of placement options. Direct services target the Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) goals and objectives within the student’s Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individual Education Program (IEP). Children eligible for services may receive direct instruction in the following areas from Regional specialists:
- Language and Vocabulary
- Listening Skills
- Audiological information and management
- Transition training
Related Services provide support so the student is able to achieve their other IEP goals and may include:
- Instruction in the care and maintenance of hearing aids
- Cochlear implant support
- Hearing assistance technology devices
- Evaluations to determine impact of hearing loss
- Self-advocacy skill development
The purpose of the consultative services is to closely monitor student needs/progress and to facilitate a successful inclusion experience. Services may include:
- Consultation to the general education teacher(s) and other appropriate school staff
- Monitoring student’s academic and social progress
- Monitoring student’s personal amplification system
- Assessing and assisting with student needs for special and/or adaptive equipment and materials
- Classroom/staff orientation and in-service
- Formal classroom observation of the student
- Resource library
- Sign language support
- Participation as a team member on the IFSP or IEP team
- Deafblind services if necessary
- Parent education
- Support to refer for Audiological evaluations and services