Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Columbia Public Schools provides services to children who are deaf and hard of hearing, ages 3 to 5, who live in Columbia and surrounding school districts. These students receive individual and small group instruction from Deaf Education teachers, Speech Language Pathologists and ECSE teachers who target specific speech, language and auditory goals. In addition to acoustically treated classrooms, our curriculum is specifically designed to target vocabulary, language and listening in a small group setting. The program runs four mornings a week and there is an extended day option. Based on the IEP team decision, extended day in the form of individual or small group therapy, may be considered to help address each child’s IEP goals.
Professionals work closely with the families to determine the best mode of communication for their child: spoken language, total communication or sign language. This decision is based on the individual needs of each child and the families’ desire. The professionals in our program can attend Audiology appointments to help support the child and family, if desired.Our team includes:
- Deaf Education Teachers: Certified Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provide classroom support, language therapy and auditory training throughout the school day.
- Speech Language Pathologists (SLP): Licensed Speech Language Pathologists in our program have extensive training and experience with deaf and hard of hearing students. One SLP is a certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS). SLPS provide intensive speech and language therapy in the classroom, as well as in one on one or small group settings.
- Early Childhood Special Education Teachers: Certified ECSE teachers, with experience working with deaf and hard of hearing students, create classroom environments to help support the academic and language growth of all the students.
- Instructional Aide: Instructional Aides help support the classroom activities and expectations.
- Audiologist: A licensed Audiologist is available to help with device checks, amplification needs, remote microphone support and consultation.
Supports provided include but are not limited to:
- Audiology Support: Teachers attend Audiology and ENT appointments to help communicate concerns with amplification or personal remote listening devices based on therapy results and/or to assist with cochlear implant programming
- Audiology Support On-Site: Audiology support is provided during the school day to troubleshoot amplification devices, help with classroom acoustics and support any other immediate device concerns.
- Team Approach: Teachers and Speech Language Pathologists work closely with Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and other professionals to provide each child with the individual services that support their needs. Columbia Public School professionals also collaborate with outside districts to ensure all transitions are appropriate for the child, family and district.