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MedEd Connections Resource Guides: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Special Education

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Individualized Education Program

Your child may qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP). An IEP is a legal document that outlines what educational services and supports your child who is D/HH will receive. Updated annually, IEPs include:

  • A statement of present levels of academic achievement and functional performance,
  • Measurable annual academic and functional goals,
  • Special education and related services, and
  • Accommodations and modifications necessary to measure a student’s true academic achievement and functional performance.

The goals for your child should be ambitious, yet achievable. Guardians can request an IEP meeting with the school team more frequently than once a year if needed.

The IEP team will be comprised of family members and school personnel providing the learner’s educational needs. It is crucial to note that a student who identifies as hard of hearing instead of deaf will benefit from an educational audiologist or teacher of the deaf just as much as a student who is deaf would. Families may invite a trusted friend or professional to serve on the team. It is helpful to ask a friend or family member to come for the purpose of note-taking. By doing so, families have a written record they can refer to later, which will be useful for future IEP planning.

If you believe your child needs an IEP, you can make a written request to a school psychologist or an administrator for your child to be evaluated for special education. Email is advisable, because you will have a written record. The school might try a Response to Intervention (RTI) process or provide a set of modifications before an evaluation. Alternatively, the school may not give your child an evaluation and will explain the reasons why in a written document to the child’s guardians.

If you feel the need for an independent evaluation, please request a list of evaluators from your school or contact a Parent Mentor from Ohio’s Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities.

The evaluation your child will need is called a Multi-Factored Evaluation (MFE). The results of the MFE are documented in an evaluation team report (ETR), which will determine the student’s eligibility for special education. The ETR is very important; it contains the information used to determine your child’s needs and services, including strengths and areas of need. Once eligibility through the evaluation has been confirmed, the development of the program will commence.

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