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

Least Restrictive Environment and Placement Considerations

Section 5

The purpose of this section is to help teams discuss delivery of special education services that provide the student with the most appropriate and continuous access to language and communication throughout the student’s day. Special education is a service not a place, and services should be delivered in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The basic regulatory requirement is that students are only removed from general education classrooms if they cannot be educated satisfactorily in general education classes with the use of supplementary aids and services.

As teams plan for education in the least restrictive environment, ensuring access and engagement for a student across a school day, consider:

Sample Discussion Questions

  • Does the home school district have teachers, interpreters, and related service providers who are experienced and trained to work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing?
  • Does the student have effective communication options in the LRE as defined in IDEA?
  • Which services will provide the student with full, meaningful, and effective communication throughout the academic day, including with peers and school personnel?
  • Does the student have access to peers who are deaf and hard of hearing?
  • Does the student have access to deaf adult role models?