Related services help deaf and hard of hearing children benefit from their education by providing extra help in some areas, based on needs identified through an evaluation. The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) defines related services this way:
"Related services means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services and school nurse services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training."
The definition above includes a long list of related services - but not a complete one. Many states have passed their own legislation to address related service requirements. IEP team members need to work together to decide what the school needs to provide in order for the student to benefit from special education.
Below is a list of the most common related services that deaf and hard of hearing students specifically may benefit from receiving. This list is not comprehensive; each child has unique needs, and some helpful related services may not appear here.
- Interpreting Services
- Occupational/Physical Therapy (OT/PT)
- Psychological Services
- Rehabilitation Counseling
- Speech-Language Pathology
Deaf children with disabilities may also need additional related services. The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities offers a more comprehensive look at related services.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) also addresses students with cochlear implants by specifically excluding some areas of cochlear implant services from the related services requirement. Read more here about related services for students with cochlear implants.