Updates from the Original Version
This information is part of an online guide, Resources for Mainstream Programs
This update to There's a Hearing Impaired Child in My Class reflects many changes ranging from terminology to changes in laws to technological advances.
- In 1988, the term hearing impaired was used and accepted by many in the field of deaf education to describe children with a range of hearing levels. Currently, many people who are deaf believe the term hearing impaired suggests a medical/pathological view of deafness and prefer the terminology deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, please remember that, like all children, students who are deaf are individuals with diverse learning abilities and challenges. The student's deafness does not come first; the whole child comes first.
- The change from "my class" to "mainstream programs" in the title indicates another important issue: inclusiveness. A successful mainstream experience involves more than a single teacher in a single classroom. When a student who is deaf or hard of hearing attends school, he or she interacts with the whole school-not just one classroom. This distinction emphasizes the extent of your responsibility in including a deaf student in your educational environment.
- The increased use of cochlear implants and other advances in hearing aid technology have changed how some deaf and hard of hearing children receive information auditorily.
- More technological advances have allowed students greater opportunities to receive information and communicate on a daily basis through written English (both standard and non-standard) using the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging, and text devices.
- In 1988, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) governed provision of a free public education for deaf and hard of hearing children. PL 94-142 was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990 and there have been reauthorizations since that time that have clarified how services are to be provided to deaf and hard of hearing students.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), authorized in 1990, has expanded access for deaf and hard of hearing students outside of the school environment. Today's students need to learn how to ensure they receive the access they are legally entitled to by advocating for themselves.
The resource published in 1988 was a paperback manual. To make this guide readily accessible to the public, it is entirely online and there is no paper version.