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Social skills in deaf or hard of hearing children

September 19, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing cannot hear all or certain sounds due to an inability to detect these sounds within their ear. They can communicate different ways which include manually and orally or both. Some people with a hearing impairment wear hearing aids or have a cochlear implant in order to aid in the hearing process.

The causes of a hearing impairment or deafness include genetics, diseases, medication, or trauma to the ear in some way. Parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing have options in regards to their education. Their child can be in a residential school, which is strictly for children with hearing loss. They could also be in a public school and receive special education services, or they can be in a mainstreamed classroom with no special education modifications or accommodations. Read the rest of this entry →

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Are Least Restrictive Environments Actually Most Restrictive Environment In Disguise for Deaf Students?

May 10, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Doug Goldberg

As of 2004, the definition of ‘least restrictive environment’ as written in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): “To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

Essentially what that means is that the law views public schools as the “least restrictive environment.” But we have to remember the majority of laws that were passed have been written by hearing people, with little or no input from Deaf people. To hearing people, public schools are least restrictive in the sense that hearing people do not need to worry about accessibility issues or accommodations. Can we say the same about Deaf students? Are public schools truly “least restrictive environment” for Deaf students? Many hearing legislators, hearing administrators, and the hearing society want to believe that Deaf students can attend a public school and do just fine, as long as the Deaf student has cochlear implant and is hearized to the fullest extent possible. Bills have been proposed with this belief in mind, such as House Bill 1367 in Indiana and Assembly Bill 2072 in California, for example. If schools for the deaf can be closed down as result of such bills, it’s a nice benefit in eyes of most legislators, administrators and society. Why waste money on schools for the deaf when it can be funneled toward public schools? Read the rest of this entry →

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Consideration of Special Factors in an IEP

June 7, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the IEP Team to consider five special factors in developing, reviewing, and revising a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).  The five special factors are listed in IDEA and read as follow:  Read the rest of this entry →

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Through your Child’s Eyes: American Sign Language

February 13, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

Communication is one of the most important aspects of every relationship and even more important when parents are trying to bond with their young children.   Communication comes in many forms and is not limited to only the spoken language.  The following 13 minute video describes with vivid imagery and parent interviews how American Sign Language has helped parents connect to their children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The video was produced by DJ Kurs in cooperation with California State University - Northridge and the California Department of Education.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Read the rest of this entry →

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