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Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The mission of deaf and hard of hearing services is to work collaboratively to empower deaf and hard of hearing learners. District 196 offers a variety of services and accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing learners including but not limited to: 

  • Academic support services
  • Compensatory skill development for learner’s hearing loss
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing teachers
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing assistants
  • Sign language interpreting services
  • Cued language transliteration services
  • Captioning services
  • Amplification options
  • Educational audiologist

Frequently Asked Questions

What are deaf and hard of hearing services?

A student may be eligible for special education and related services under the Minnesota state deaf and hard of hearing criteria when there is audiological verification of a hearing loss. The special education staff in each neighborhood school can assist with the process of obtaining services. District 196 teachers for students who are deaf or hard of hearing are itinerant and provide service to students.

Deaf and hard of hearing services are available in every building.

What is the referral and evaluation process?

Contact the building principal or special education coordinator when a student enters District 196 with an active IEP documenting deaf and hard of hearing as an area of disability.  

The teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing is a team member on the IEP.  An initial referralrequires an audiogram documenting a hearing loss. The educational evaluation may include testing in the following areas: academic, communication, sensory and functional skills related to the hearing loss. The teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, an educational audiologist, a speech/language clinician and other professionals may all complete part of the testing based on the areas of anticipated educational need.  

What is the role of the deaf and heard of hearing educator?

  • Required to be a member of the IEP team participates in planning, and completing evaluations, re-evaluations for students with hearing loss from birth to age 21.

  • Provides consultation to determine educational implications unique to the hearing loss.

  • Assists in developing appropriate goals and objectives, curricular modifications, adaptations, accommodations, use of amplification, need for alternative modes of communication and assistive technology to meet curriculum requirements.

  • Consults with the educational audiologist regarding the hearing loss and amplification needs of individual students.

  • May plan and present disability specific inservice to staff and/or individual students.

  • In addition, students with hearing loss may also receive services from additional special education service providers based on their unique educational needs.

How are these services provided?

Service may be provided for instruction in academic areas, including: reading; writing; general knowledge; language and communication; and functional skills such as care and use of amplification, learning about hearing loss and advocating for oneself as a person with hearing loss.

Consultation to staff and/or students may be provided through inservice opportunities and monitoring of material adaptation and functional skills.


Paula Krippner,
Special Education Coordinator