Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program serves students from preschool through high school with severe and profound hearing loss.
The term Hearing Impairment includes all degrees of hearing loss from hard of hearing to deaf. This means that the hearing loss prevents full awareness of environmental sounds and spoken language, thus, limiting normal language acquisition. The degree of the hearing loss and the age of onset will have a profound impact on language development. Classrooms are located at Williams Elementary School, Mattoon Middle School and Mattoon High School in Mattoon, Illinois. These classrooms provide instruction to students needing a visual representation of language to learn. Possible eligibility for hearing impairment programming is determined through a case study evaluation and multi-disciplinary staff conference. If the student is eligible, based on functional ability in conjunction with the severity of the hearing loss, then an IEP is developed and placement decisions are made.
The EIASE program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is committed to the philosophy of total communication. This method includes speech, lip-reading, fingerspelling, sign language, and the use of residual hearing to develop language competence. In the classroom multiple modes of sign language are used: ASL, Signed English, and Simultaneous communication. The method used is dependent on the needs of the students. Mainstreaming with supportive interpreter services is an integral component of the program. Interaction between teachers, interpreters, support staff, and parents is also an important part of the program.