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Gallaudet Univeristy
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Children with Cochlear Implants Who Sign: Guidelines for Transitioning to Oral Education or a Mainstream Setting

Stephanie Sweeton, The Learning Center for the Deaf

Stephanie Sweeton shared information about the development and the contents of guidelines designed to assist in determining student readiness when transitioning from sign based educational programs to oral education or mainstream programs.

The presentation described:

  • How the guidelines were developed collaboratively over a period of two years by a large group of professionals invited by Children’s Hospital Boston.
  • The purpose of the guidelines, which have expanded to cover guidance in family counseling, assistance in IEP development, and documentation to assist in determining the appropriateness of an oral/mainstream educational placement.
  • The format and the contents of these guidelines, which include:
    • Two sets of guidelines- one for children 5 years of age and under and one for children over 5 years of age.
    • Observational rating scales related to competencies needed for transitioning from manual to oral instruction in both oral receptive and expressive language. (A written language skills checklist is available for children over age 5). Included in the written guidelines is a discussion regarding how to use the checklists in making decisions related to transitioning.
    • An explanation of additional considerations for transition (language demands, social skills, self concept, additional disabilities, attending abilities, parent/guardian input and support).
    • Appendices which include program considerations for a child with a cochlear implant in a mainstream or oral classroom, physical accommodations in such classrooms, CI technology considerations, and recommended classroom strategies and additional services, as well as a glossary of terms.