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SOESD / Learning Matters / Newsletter Archive / December 2006 / January 2007 / Program for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Program for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Barb Franklin, PDHH Teacher

The Southern Oregon Regional Program for Deaf/Hard of Hearing (PDHH) serves students in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Douglas and Lake counties.  PDHH currently serves approximately 120 students between the ages of birth to 21.  These students attend public schools, Early Intervention/Early Childhood Education Programs at home or in preschools, and occasionally private schools.  PDHH has resource classrooms at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in Jackson County, centers for deaf/hard of hearing services in Klamath and Josephine counties, and itinerant services in all Region 3 counties.  There are currently 10 full time teachers, 1 part time teacher of the D/HH and 30 interpreters who work throughout our region.
 
Recently, PDHH was awarded a grant that allowed five sign language interpreters to travel to Bend, OR in order to participate in the ASK-12 (Assessment Systems for K-12) and, EIPA (Educational Interpreters Performance Assessment).  Ask-12 utilizes the EIPA test as an evaluation tool.  Fourteen states have implemented the EIPA which is a nationally recognized test/evaluation system that provides for evaluation of skills and knowledge of K-12 sign language interpreters.  This is a pilot project whose results will help develop assessment standards for educational sign language interpreters.
 
PDHH teachers provide a variety of educational supports to students on their caseloads.  They may provide specialized instruction in the core subjects, as well as tutoring, auditory training, speech and communication skills.  They also provide consultation to regular education staff to help ensure access to the regular curriculum.
 
Access to the regular curriculum is provided in a variety of ways for PDHH students.  Some students receive sign language interpreting services.  Assistive technology in the form of FM systems, Video Relay Systems (VRS), captioned films, writers, notetakers, and transcriptions are also provided based on the studentís Individualized Educational Program.  PDHH also provides social opportunities for students to interact via field trips 2-3 times throughout the school year.
 
The Program for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing has significant challenges, based on the large area it covers, to provide a high level of educational support for students in this region.  Through the continued efforts of this highly dedicated staff, PDHH is able to address these challenges and provide quality services to deaf/hard of hearing students.


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