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Gallaudet Univeristy
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Services for KDES and MSSD Students with Cochlear Implants

The Cochlear Implant Education Center staff at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center provides on-site educational and support services to students enrolled in our Demonstration Schools (Kendall Demonstration Elementary School and Model Secondary School for the Deaf). Each student receives services based on individual needs, identified during the IFSP/IEP process. These services are a part of our national goal to investigate the use of cochlear implant technology in the education and lives of children who also use sign language.


Services to all enrolled students and families

  • Family education and counseling: We help families understand cochlear implant technology and decide if a cochlear implant is appropriate for their child.
  • Auditory and Speech Skill Training: Auditory and speech development support services based on students' IFSPs or IEPs. We build listening and speech skills to help students use increasingly complex and challenging spoken language, both in and out of school.
  • Assistive Technology in the Classroom: We use computer, audiotape, and videotape technology to facilitate the development and use of all students’ auditory and speech skills.

Services to students in the candidacy process

  • Habilitation services: We prepare students for the training that will come after cochlear implant surgery.
  • Coordination of services: Collaboration with the family, school audiologists and counselors, the hospital implant center, and others to ensure students understand every step of the cochlear implantation process.
  • Student Workshops and Counseling: Workshops to prepare students going through the process of receiving a cochlear implant. Students get direct counseling service before, during, and after the implant process.

Services to students with cochlear implants

  • Student Workshops: Workshops for students with cochlear implants on care and maintenance of the cochlear implant and strategies for optimal use.
  • Student Support Groups: Opportunities for students with cochlear implants to share experiences and problem solve.
  • Direct auditory and speech therapy services.
  • Language development planning: Individualized language development plans are created for each student during the IFSP/IEP process.
  • Spoken language development: Support for teachers and other professionals to integrate spoken language into each child's classroom.
  • Assessment of language and communication skills: Students are videotaped to show changes in spoken and sign language skills. Parents and other members of the student's educational team use the records to make IEP and IFSP decisions.
  • Device monitoring: Clerc Center audiologists provide basic troubleshooting services. We maintain additional replacement parts. We also work with each child's hospital implant center to provide on-site mapping services when necessary.
  • Consistency of training activities: Collaboration with the family, hospital implant center, and auditory and speech habilitation specialists to promote consistency of training activities from the hospital center to the school to the home.


Classroom Services

  • Parent- Infant Programs: Support Service Team specialists help families understand the possible role a cochlear implant may have for their child, help families through the implantation process should they decide to pursue an implant, and provide direct habilitation services to children with implants.


  • Nursery Program: Children with cochlear implants are integrated into classrooms with other students who have a range of hearing levels, amplification use, and language/communication competence. Teachers and other professionals serve as language role models proficient in both American Sign Language and Spoken English. For group activities that include all students, ASL is the language of instruction. For one-to-one activities, teachers and staff adjust communication use based on individual student skills and goals, as well as the goal of the activity. Students with cochlear implants and other students with more access to hearing use only spoken English during daily small group time. The main goal is to create an environment where all students have access to language and communication, while ensuring individual students’ language development needs are met.


  • Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade: The IEP team determines individualized classroom and support services, including auditory and speech training and recommendations to incorporate activities and strategies to support spoken language development and use in the classroom environment. Each child's plan is unique.


  • High school: Students with cochlear implants are integrated into MSSD classrooms. The MSSD audiologist monitors service and additional supports for students related to cochlear implants. The audiologist works with other Support Service Specialists and teachers. Some of the services provided to MSSD students related to cochlear implants include:
  •  "Needs Assessments" to determine supports necessary in the areas of adjustment and monitoring of the implant device, provision of counseling services, development of support groups, provision of auditory and speech training.
  • Direct auditory and speech training provided by the MSSD audiologist and/or a Speech Language Pathologist.
  • Audiological services, including complete audiologic evaluation, mapping of implant devices, troubleshooting of implant equipment, and counseling regarding assistive devices to use with implants.
  • Workshops for students who do not have implants, but are interested in learning more about this technology.
  • Support groups and individual counseling services for students with cochlear implants.