Special Populations » Deaf Education

Deaf Education

Our mission is to serve students in our district who meet the state requirements of needing specialized services due to a hearing loss by providing educational challenges and opportunities which empower them to become more productive and independent individuals.  Our program offers support, resources, and education to help overcome communication barriers and listening difficulties resulting from a hearing loss.  Based on an individualized education plan (IEP) our supports may include a wide range of auditory and visual accommodations, including various forms of hearing assistive technology used in the classroom to help bridge the gap for equal access in the educational setting.  

**If your child has had an auditory, visual, or speech examination by professionals outside of the school district, please stop by your child’s school to either submit a copy or to sign a release so that we may obtain a copy from the provider.

 

Deaf Education services are provided by the Waxahachie ISD Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD) for WISD enrolled students and nearby districts who are participating members of our Shared Service Agreement (SSA).  Our member districts include Milford ISD, Maypearl ISD, Palmer ISD, Avalon ISD, and Midlothian ISD.  The program serves eligible students from birth - 21 years old that have an educational need as determined by their ARD committee. 

The Texas School for the Deaf is located in Austin Texas and was established in 1856 for qualifying students to attend.  Today, it is the oldest public school in Texas that is still operating (see link below for more information).  However, many parents do not want to send their children so far away from home to attend school.  The state set up Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf in 1974 so that local districts would have access to services closer to home.

Click on the links below if you would like more information about Texas School for the Deaf:

Qualification Requirements for Deaf Education Services

Any student who has a hearing loss which severely impairs processing linguistic information through hearing, even with recommended amplification, that adversely affects their educational performance shall be eligible for consideration for meeting the state requirements to receive auditory services, subject to the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee recommendations.

In order to qualify for auditory impairment special education services, a student must meet the following criteria:

    • Must be between the ages of birth to 21 years of age
    • Hearing reports must show a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information due to the hearing loss, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
    • Hearing reports show that the degree of hearing loss, whether permanent or fluctuating, adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
    • Have an educational need for specially designed instruction
    • A multidisciplinary team must review information from all of the following:
      • An audiological examination report, to be completed by an audiologist
      • An otological examination report, to be completed by an ENT doctor
      • A communication assessment addressing the implications of the student’s hearing abilities in a variety of circumstances that is completed by the Special Education team, which includes a certified teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing and a speech therapist and/or a diagnostician.
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**If your child has had an auditory, visual, and/or a speech examination by professionals outside of the school district, please stop by your child’s school to either submit a copy or to sign a release so that we may obtain a copy from the provider.  

If you would like to learn more about Deaf Education eligibility requirements, please visit TEA’s “The Legal Framework” page.

The Waxahachie RDSPD provides a continuum of services based upon each child’s individual needs, based on assessments and as determined by the ARD committee. 

Infants / Toddlers 0-3 years of age:

  • Parent / Infant services are provided through a memorandum of understanding between the Waxahachie RDSPD and the Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECI).  
  • Children must meet the eligibility requirements to receive Auditory Impaired (AI) services (see eligibility page).  
    • An audiological AND otological report filled out by the Dr./audiologist must be on file and language assessment results must show that eligibility guidelines have been met.
  • For qualifying children, information and guidance may be provided to families through home visits, parent groups, community classes, organizations, publications, and assistance to better understand auditory assessments and needs. 
  • These services can be provided at the location of the family’s residence, as agreed upon in the Individualized Family Service Plan, IFSP, meeting.
 
 
Students 3 - 21 years of age     
  • Services are available for students, ages 3-21 years old, on a school campus for intensive instruction, starting with an Individualized Education Plan.  The IEP is developed by the ARD Committee that includes parents or legal guardians and relevant staff members on your child’s educational team.  
  • Speech and language evaluations and services are provided by a speech therapist/pathologist. 
  • Certified itinerant teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing may provide support to students with hearing loss that are enrolled in general education or basic special education programs on their home school campus, which may include direct intervention and/or consultation services as determined by the ARD committee.
  • Hearing assistive technology provided is based on assessments that demonstrate an educational need.  
  • Other additional supports and related services such as counselors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses are available to students if recommended through evaluation and the ARD process.
  • Sign Language Support Services:  The Waxahachie RDSPD is currently partnering with the Arlington RDSPD to provide more intense sign language support for students when it has been determined necessary by the ARD committee.  This may be for students who need a certified teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing or interpreter for all or part of the school day.  These classes are taught by certified, highly qualified teachers on centralized campuses in the Arlington ISD school district.



Hearing Loss & Self Advocacy Sites

Sign Language Resources

 

Hearing Assistive Technology / Resources 

 

Captioning Sites

    1. Turn on captioning (top right blue tab).
    2. Minimize the text box.
    3. Share your screen during the Zoom meeting. 
    4. Your minimized web browser becomes a closed-captioning text box.
    5. Free to use.
    6. Can change the captioned text to Spanish, German, French, etc.  

ECI- Early Childhood  Auditory | Listening Practice Sites



Email Heather Thornton for more details.