Early January 2018
Regardless of the move to full inclusion and the shortage of teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, school teams remain obligated to student identify areas of educational need, appropriate IEP goals, amount of service time needed, by whom, and in what setting.
In the March 22, 2017 US Supreme Court decision, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “…IDEA demands more. It requires an educational program reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” If a child is not fully included, school officials must look at the child’s unique needs and required level of specialized instruction before developing an IEP that is “pursuing academic and functional advancement.” If a child is 6 months behind expected achievement levels, an itinerant DHH teacher cannot maintain a year’s growth and also make up the level of delay with only twice per week 30-minute sessions of service. Providing an inappropriate amount of educational support will not result in the needed level of student outcomes nor will it make teachers of the DHH appear effectual.
One result of the Supporting Success survey last April to identify the roles and responsibilities of itinerant teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing indicated that 25% of respondents used matrices to guide to their discussions in the determination of the level of service delivery.