SOESD / Special Education / Deaf and Hard of Hearing / Eligibility and Referral
Eligibility and Referral
Services from the Program for Deaf/Hard of Hearing are available for any child between the ages of birth-21, with an educationally significant hearing loss. When a hearing loss is suspected, a referral can be made to PDHH through the child’s resident school district or Early Intervention Program. A parent, an educator, an audiologist, or anyone who is knowledgeable about the child may make a referral. The referral to PDHH must include an audiological evaluation (hearing test information), a completed physician’s statement form, and signed consent for evaluation form and signed release of information from the parent or guardian of the child. A teacher of the DHH will gather information about the child’s language development, speech skills, academic achievement, and auditory skills, using a variety of tests and observations. Once this information is collected, an Eligibility meeting will be held to determine whether the child is eligible for special education services.
An Eligibility team consisting of a teacher of the deaf, a regular educator, the parent and a district representative review the child’s audiogram and developmental information. The pure tone average hearing loss must be 25dB or greater in the better ear at 500Hz, 100Hz, and 200Hz, or 35dB or greater in the better ear for frequencies of 3000Hz, 4000Hz, 6000ZHz. A child with a unilateral hearing loss will be considered for eligibility if the pure tone average loss is 50dB or greater in the affected ear for the frequencies 500Hz to 4000Hz. Once it is determined that the hearing loss is not medically treatable and meets one of the eligibility requirements, the IEP team will review the developmental information. The team will decide whether the hearing loss has had an impact on the child’s developmental or educational progress and whether specialized instruction is necessary. If the team decides that the hearing loss does have a significant educational impact, an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meeting is held to discuss the child’s specific educational needs and to write an individualized educational plan.