The additional program objective of training candidates with an expertise in deafness is framed within five Special Competency areas. Training for each special competency area exists across the curriculum.
Special Competency (1): Communication and meeting the communication needs of all individuals whom one serves, which includes the development of American Sign Language (ASL) skill, as well as the ability to assess one's communication skills and adapt communication modalities to meet the specific needs of each child (ASL, manually coded English, oral/aural approaches, cued speech, etc.).
Special Competency (2): Knowledge of deafness issues, including research, technological innovations, Deaf culture, diversity within the Deaf community, and resources for families and the professional.
Special Competency (3): Psychoeducational considerations for children who are Deaf and hard of hearing, including modifications needed in use of standardized and non-standardized test instruments, interpretation of results, socialization issues, family issues, and the impact of additional disabilities.
Special Competency (4): Specialized psychological assessment (standardized and non-standardized) and observational strategies for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing across diverse cultural, economic, linguistic, and personal-developmental domains.
Special Competency (5): Knowledge of educational intervention techniques and curriculum adaptations for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.