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Disability Information - Hearing Impaired (HI), Deafness, or Hearing Loss

 

General Information

Education & Classroom Accommodations

Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

National Resources & Websites

Articles Related to this Disability

Medical Information

 

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 General Information

 

See:  http://seriweb.com/hearing.htm

 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), formerly the Education of the Handicapped Act (P.L. 94-142), includes "hearing impairment" and "deafness" as two of the categories under which children with disabilities may be eligible for special education and related services programming. While the term "hearing impairment" is often used generically to describe a wide range of hearing losses, including deafness, the regulations for IDEA define hearing loss and deafness separately.

 

Hearing impairment is defined by IDEA as "an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance."

 

Deafness is defined as "a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification."

 

Thus, deafness may be viewed as a condition that prevents an individual from receiving sound in all or most of its forms. In contrast, a child with a hearing loss can generally respond to auditory stimuli, including speech.

 

Source:  NICHCY

 

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 Education & Classroom Accommodations

 

Hearing loss or deafness does not affect a person's intellectual capacity or ability to learn. However, children who are either hard of hearing or deaf generally require some form of special education services in order to receive an adequate education. Such services may include:
 
regular speech, language, and auditory training from a specialist;
 
amplification systems;
 
services of an interpreter for those students who use sign language;
 
favorable seating in the class to facilitate lip reading;
captioned films/videos;
 
assistance of a notetaker, who takes notes for the student with a hearing loss, so that the student can fully attend to instruction;
 
instruction for the teacher and peers in alternate communication methods, such as sign language; and
counseling.

 
Children who are hard of hearing will find it much more difficult than children who have normal hearing to learn vocabulary, grammar, word order, idiomatic expressions, and other aspects of verbal communication. For children who are deaf or have severe hearing losses, early, consistent, and conscious use of visible communication modes (such as sign language, fingerspelling, and Cued Speech) and/or amplification and aural/oral training can help reduce this language delay. By age four or five, most children who are deaf are enrolled in school on a full-day basis and do special work on communication and language development. It is important for teachers and audiologists to work together to teach the child to use his or her residual hearing to the maximum extent possible, even if the preferred means of communication is manual. Since the great majority of deaf children (over 90%) are born to hearing parents, programs should provide instruction for parents on implications of deafness within the family.

 
People with hearing loss use oral or manual means of communication or a combination of the two. Oral communication includes speech, lip reading and the use of residual hearing. Manual communication involves signs and fingerspelling. Total Communication, as a method of instruction, is a combination of the oral method plus signing and fingerspelling.

Individuals with hearing loss, including those who are deaf, now have many helpful devices available to them. Text telephones (known as TTs, TTYs, orTDDs) enable persons to type phone messages over the telephone network. The Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), now required by law, makes it possible for TT users to communicate with virtually anyone (and vice versa) via telephone. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Information Clearinghouse (telephone: 1-800-241-1044, voice; 1-800-241-1055, TT; Web: www.nidcd.nih.gov) makes available lists of TRS numbers by state.
 

Source:  NICHCY

 

Versatile, Free Science Resource for Deaf Students - A 300-word prototype 3D interactive Signing Science Dictionary is available free on the internet or can be delivered as a CD-ROM. Designed for use by elementary and middle-grade students whose first language is sign language, the dictionary covers words and terms found in discussions of Weather, Water, and the Human Body. 100% of students who participated in usability testing reported the Dictionary was easy to use and helped them read and write about the science they were studying.

 

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 Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

 

Hands & Voices: Non-biased Support for Families of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing - The Chapter's support comes from the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program of the Michigan Department of Community Health with grant funds from the Maternal Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. The board meets the fourth Saturday of every month in Holt, Michigan. For more information or to become a part of this dynamic and necessary organization, contact Amy Lester, Parent Consultant for the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program at lestera@michigan.gov or 517-335-8273. You may also contact Michigan Association for Deaf Hearing and Speech services (MADHS) at 1-800-YOUR-EAR.
  

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 National Resources & Websites

 

Deafuture - Started by parents of a deaf child, the Deafuture website provides access to information about laws, education, and related services to hearing families and relatives with deaf children, building a community that will enable children to reach their maximum potential. The “Tools” section has a large list of sample letters to use when advocating for services and support.
 

Virtual/visual American Sign Language dictionary on-line - click here.

 

American Society for Deaf Children
National Organization which provides information, support, and advocacy to help improve the educational, recreational, and health care opportunities of deaf and hard of hearing children and youth.

Web: www.deafchildren.org
Phone: 1-800-942-ASDC (942-2732) Parent Hotline
 

FACT SHEET: Telephone Access for People with Speech Disabilities
 

Deafuture.com - Their mission is to provide access to information about laws, education, and related services to hearing families and relatives with deaf children, building a community that will enable them to reach their maximum potential.

 

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
(202) 337-5220 (V); (202) 337-5221 (TTY)
E-mail: info@agbell.org
Web: www.agbell.org
 
American Society for Deaf Children
1-800-942-2732 (Voice/TTY); (717) 334-7922 (V/TTY)
E-mail: ASDC1@aol.com
Web: www.deafchildren.org

American Speech-Language Hearing Association
(301) 897-5700 (Voice/TTY); 1-800-638-8255 (Helpline)
E-mail: actioncenter@asha.org
Web: www.asha.org
 
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center and Clearinghouse
KDES PAS-6, Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue N.E.
Washington, DC 20002-3695
(202) 651-5051 (Voice/TTY)
E-mail: Clearinghouse.Infotogo@gallaudet.edu
Web: http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/infotogo/index.html
 
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Information Clearinghouse
1-800-241-1044 (Voice); 1-800-241-1055 (TTY)
E-mail: nidcdinfo@nidcd.nih.gov
Web: www.nidcd.nih.gov/
 
Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH)
(301) 657-2248 (Voice); (301) 657-2249 (TT)
E-mail: national@shhh.org
Web: www.shhh.org

 

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 Articles Related to this Disability

 

Two-way Pagers Give Teens With Hearing Impairments More Independence - About 50 students with hearing impairments in Toronto are using donated two-way pagers to communicate with teachers, family and friends as part of a five-year study of how the devices can improve their social and literacy skills. Researchers have found some students are now sending and receiving more than 3,000 messages a month, as compared with the 10 a month they typically sent when they first received the devices last year.

 

Deaf Students Struggle With English Exams - Most deaf students don't grow up hearing English spoken, and thus they often have significant vocabulary gaps that prevent them for scoring well on state English tests, experts say. To combat this, the Mississippi School for the Blind and Deaf is asking state officials to allow deaf students to use a thesaurus during exams, an initiative being watched closely nationwide.

 

GA Special Needs Student is Resolute - In a dimly lighted room, 14-year-old Chelsea Gilliland read aloud as she skimmed her hands along rows of raised dots, letting her fingers see the words. The LaFayette High School freshman is legally blind, hearing impaired and has trouble walking. Despite her physical handicaps, Chelsea has succeeded in school, making all A's and B's.

 

Infant Hearing and Resources - The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at Utah State University was established to ensure that all infants and toddlers with hearing loss are identified as early as possible and provided with timely and appropriate services. Their information and resource center contains a wealth of information and resources concerning the many dimensions of early hearing detection and intervention.

 

Closed Captioning (CC) FAQ - What are closed captions? How does captioning work? Who watches closed captions? Who pays for captioning?  This informative FAQ contains answers to these questions and more.

 

KY Child Misdiagnosed With ADHD Making The Grade After Real Problem Found - What if the diagnosis just doesn't fit, and your child is still struggling? It could be something you've never heard of, yet "hearing" is what it's all about.

 

Hearing Loss Can Mean Learning Loss for up to 15% of Students - Hearing loss takes a toll on learning. Children with severe or profound hearing loss are easy to spot, but those with moderate or minimal hearing problems sometimes go undetected and many experience a slow but steady decline in academic achievement. "The numbers are shocking," said an assistant superintendent for student services. "I'm sure we underestimate the prevalence of hearing loss in our schools, and we overlook the fact that most classroom learning depends on hearing and listening."

 

Class Helps 3-year-old Through Disability - With five of his classmates, Christopher sits in a diminutive chair at a low table eating a snack at Lynchburg City School's Hutcherson Early Learning Center.

 

MI Deaf mom fights to keep kids from ear implants

 

Video on Classroom Acoustics Released - A new video is now available on innovative designs and technologies for improving classroom acoustics. The video derives from a longer program on school design developed by the Information Television Network with sponsorship from the Board and other organizations. Copies of the video, Classroom Acoustics: Listening vs. Learning, can be ordered from the Educational Audiology Association at (800) 460-7322, mailto:eaa@L-Tgraye.com (e-mail), or www.edaud.org (website).

 

MI Grand Rapids Children's Cochlear Implant Case: Amicus Brief

 

MI Michigan Judge Rules Deaf Boys Needn't Undergo Surgery

 

MI Deaf mom gets the 'no' she wants - The judge who ruled against forcing two deaf boys to get cochlear implants said Friday she believes the devices would help them -- but it's not up to her to decide.

 

Read "NTID tries to learn why deaf find science difficult"

 

Helping to fight the effects of being deaf - In a sense, Brett E. Holt is one of the fortunate.

 

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 Medical Information

 

Ear Implants Work Best When Started Young - The earlier deaf children get cochlear implants, the more likely they are to speak and comprehend language normally later in life, new research suggests. In fact, some doctors say doing the surgery in infancy may produce the best results. In one study, children ages 12 months to 3 years showed rapid improvement in understanding speech during the first year after receiving one of the electronic devices, with the best results in the youngest children.

 

Pioneering Implants for Deaf People - Two deaf women in the US have become the first people to undergo the risky procedure of having implants in their brainstems. The devices are designed to restore hearing by directly stimulating nerves. Some deaf people have been given implants that sit just outside the brainstem, but these do not work very well.

 

Cochlear Implants and Meningitis: Issues for Consideration
Source: http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/CIEC/meningitis9-021.doc

 
There are more than 50,000 people with cochlear implants worldwide--about are children. On July 24th, 2002 (updated August 15, 2002), the FDA issued a Public Health notification--Cochlear Implant Recipients May Be At Greater Risk for Meningitis. This notification indicates that in a period of 14 years, 52 cases of meningitis were reported - mostly in children (some adults). An independent review described in the FDA publication identified 22 of the 52 worldwide cases as occurring in North America (9-Advanced Bionics,
13-Cochlear Corporation, 0- MED-EL). While the FDA announcement discusses the possible association between implants and meningitis, it also explains that the implant has not been proven to be the cause of the meningitis in the cases noted. The full report can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/cochlear.html

Regarding this possible relationship between implants and meningitis, the following issues should be taken into consideration:
Any surgery in the inner ear can increase the risk of infectious diseases like meningitis.
Some deaf individuals may have congenital abnormalities of the inner ear that make them prone to meningitis with or without an implant.
Some individuals who are deaf from meningitis may be at increased risk for subsequent episodes of meningitis in comparison to the general population.

What the implant manufacturers are saying---
In the case of the Cochlear Corporation--Their review of data suggests that the overall incidence of meningitis with the Nucleus device is comparable to the incidence of meningitis in the general population. As stated on the Cochlear Corporation website, " the incidence of bacterial meningitis for patients implanted with Nucleus is 14.3 cases/100,000/year in North America and 10.2 cases/100,000 worldwide. This is similar to the incidence in the general U.S. population of 2.4-10 cases/100,000 a year." They have found that the majority of the reported meningitis cases following implantation with their device primarily involved individuals with a history of cochlear malformations, or meningitis prior to surgery. For further information from the Cochlear Corporation go to: http://www.cochlear.com/About/682.asp  
In the case of Advanced Bionics-- The design of the electrode positioner in the Clarion CII implant is being considered as a possible predisposing factor to meningitis. Advanced Bionics voluntarily removed their Clarion CII implant from the market while the necessary modifications were made to manufacture and distribute the CII without the positioner. The modified system is now available. As stated in the Advanced Bionics website-- a significant proportion of the reported cases with their implant that had the posistioner involved two centers in Europe. Increased incidence in Europe may possibly be due to lower vaccination rates there. For further information see: http://www.bionicear.com/vaccine/meningitis_info.html
In the case of MedEl--As noted above, there have been no reported cases of meningitis with MED-EL.

While the possibility of contracting meningitis associated with implantation may be rare, the following precautions should be taken prior to implantation:

Discuss the need for a meningitis vaccination with a doctor prior to implantation. The recommended vaccine may differ depending on your child's age. This vaccination would be in addition to vaccinations routinely required. See http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/cochlear.html for a list of recommended vaccines. If the vaccination is not covered by an insurance provider, contact the implant manufacturer to inquire about their vaccine reimbursement policy.

Assure that the recipient is symptom free of otitis media or other infections at the time of implantation.

What if a person already has an implant?
As ear infections sometimes precede the occurrence of meningitis, implantees should be treated promptly and aggressively.
Implantees should discuss the possible need of a meningitis vaccination with their doctor
As the risk of contracting meningitis seems to be far less than the risks associated with surgery, removal of the cochlear implant positioner (Advanced Bionics) is not recommended.


Compiled by:
Debra Nussbaum, M.A. CCC-A
Coordinator, Cochlear Implant Education Center
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
 

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