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Communication Planning Guide for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Expanded Support Services


Section 3

The purpose of this section is to consider what is necessary to establish opportunities for direct communication. This communication is natural, and doesn’t occur through an additional source, such as an interpreter. Its communication opportunities that allow the student to naturally develop his/her own communication skills, cognitive skills, self-advocacy skills, and emotional intelligence.

Opportunities for direct communication with peers, teachers, and community members are important because they encourage the student to develop skills needed for successful post-secondary planning, career preparation, and independent living. Consider opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel and opportunities for instruction in the child’s language and communication mode to support their social and emotional development. What opportunities does the student have to engage in direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, at his or her academic level, and considering his or her full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode?

As teams plan for direct communication opportunities, ensuring access and engagement for a student across a school day, consider:

Sample Discussion Questions

  • What opportunities exist for the student to communicate directly with peers using his or her preferred language and communication mode?
  • Do nondisabled peers have opportunities to learn sign language if the student uses sign language?
  • Do typical peers understand the communication needs of the deaf or hard of hearing student in order to allow for direct communication among peers?
  • Can the student communicate in his or her native language with teachers?
  • Can the student communicate directly with school staff?
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