Fast Facts about Federal Way Public Schools’ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program
Who does this program serve?
FWPS’ Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) is geared to providing comprehensive and appropriate services, in the least restrictive environment, to the district’s children preschool through Grade 12 (or age 21) who have a hearing impairment.
What services does the program provide?
Diagnostic assessments are provided to children suspected of a hearing impairment. When thenature and severity of the impairment is determined, an appropriate educational setting will be recommended to the student’s parents. Some students are comfortable in a general education classroom with supplemental aids and services and/or with a sign language interpreter.
Other students thrive in a self-contained D/HH program. D/HH students are provided an appropriate acoustical environment with FM amplification systems available according to student needs. Wall pilots are used at Lakeland Elementary in the D/HH classrooms to synchronize personal FMs as students move from class to class. Finally, the program offers ongoing educational opportunities for staff, families, and students.
Does the District provide transportation to the D/HH program?
Yes, transportation needs are individually determined by the IEP team.
Where are Federal Way’s self-contained D/HH programs located?
The district established a full-time self-contained elementary program in the fall of 2006 at Lakeland Elementary School, 35827 32nd Ave South, Auburn, WA. A middle school program opened at Illahee Middle School, 36001 1st Ave S., Federal Way, in the fall of 2007.
A high school program opened at Todd Beamer School, 35999 16th Ave S, Federal Way, in the fall of 2009.
How is instruction provided to D/HH students?
Depending upon the needs of the individual and the Individualized Education Program (IEP), instruction is presented orally and/or by sign language. If students are mainstreamed and require sign language support, they are accompanied by a sign language interpreter. At Lakeland, Signing Exact English is used.
What subjects and skills are D/HH students taught?
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing academic curriculum is aligned with the Washington State Grade Level Expectations and Essential Academic Learning Requirements, the same expectations that hearing students must meet. Core academic skills addressed include reading, language, math, social studies, and science. Life skills include work habits, social skills, and problem solving skills. Students participate in the Washington State and District assessments as individually determined by IEP teams. At the high school level, students are prepared for post-secondary outcomes through instruction in academics, independent living, and supported job experience opportunities. Supplementary materials and equipment especially designed for the deaf and hard of hearing are utilized.
What extracurricular activities can D/HH students taught?
Opportunities to participate in athletics, school clubs and organizations, chorus, band, drama, etc.,are available within the school setting. Support services necessary for the participation of deaf and hard of hearing students in extracurricular activities are provided as determined by IEP teams.
What professionals work with students in the D/HH program
Teachers of the Deaf have training and knowledge of the unique needs of deaf or hard of hearing students. They provide direct instructional services to students and provide staff support when the student is in the general education classroom. They plan, manage, and teach instructional content and are responsible for writing and overseeing the students’ Individualized Education. The TOD serves as a resource for other teachers in the building and/or district.
The Educational Audiologist provides a variety of services, such as: audiological assessments; aural rehabilitation services; troubleshooting cochlear implants; testing and making minor repairs on hearing aids; recommending, ordering, and programming FM systems; assessing classroom acoustics; and educating staff on the needs of students with hearing loss. The audiologist also provides counseling to students and their families regarding hearing loss.
The School Nurse assists with regular health concerns, medications, screenings, etc., at their buildings for all students. They work with school staff, parents and community professionals and/or agencies serving the student. The nurses provide input on the students’ annual IEP’s and three-year reassessments.
The Sign Language Interpreter is responsible for facilitating communication between the deaf or hard of hearing student and the hearing teacher or peers. Interpreters may tutor students under the direction of classroom instructors and assist students in understanding course material.
Occupational Therapist (OT) / Physical Therapist (PT) services include assessment, consultative services, and direct services to students. Therapy programs focus on motor skills and functional adaptations to maximize independence within the student’s school program.
The Program Manager is responsible for the overall administration of the program, and works closely with building principals regarding staff activities, student placement, personnel hiring.
Speech and Language Therapist (SLP) services include speech/language assessment, consultative services to teachers and parents, and direct instruction to students for speech/ language development. Direct instruction may include individual, small group and/or large group activities. SLP’s work closely with classroom teachers to develop and coordinate activities for students at all levels. The SLP may also provide aural rehabilitation services.
Psychological Counseling and Social Services referrals are available as appropriate to meet individual needs.