K-12 Options

K-12 Options

Beginning at age 3 with the IEP, the special education process looks like the following chart:

K-12 Hearing Loss Diagram

It is important to notice that “placement in an appropriate program” is determined only after the needs, goals, and services have been decided upon. Typically, the IEP for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, the IEP will include services to address:

  • Language development – ASL or English or both
  • Speech and articulation if the child is learning to speak orally
  • Reading; many children who are deaf or hard of hearing struggle to learn to read well

The IEP should address all the assessed needs found in the current assessment report as well as any lack of progress under the previous IEP. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing should be learning what all children in their grade are learning. You may want to look at Minnesota’s cued speech (lip reading supplemented by clear visual cues) to use English as the primary language of communication.

  • Listening and Spoken Language programs – teacher and students focus on English with the development of speech reading, listening and speaking skills.
  • Total Communication – a philosophy of communication that employs a combination of components of the above approaches.

Some children who are deaf and hard of hearing attend a public residential school for deaf/hard of hearing students. While most students attending this school live in the dormitories, some students commute to the school daily.

We encourage you to check the links below for more information about each of these approaches.

For more information related to IEP development:

How to Learn More about K-12 Education Options

  • Ask your local school district for information about local programs serving deaf and hard of hearing students.
  • Not all options are available to all children. Your local school district must place your child in a program where your child can make progress in the general education curriculum as well as on the goals in their special education program in the least restrictive environment.
  • For more information on Minnesota’s education options and how to advocate for your child’s placement in an appropriate program, contact PACER Center.

Transition for students in the 9th grade through graduation or age 21

In Minnesota, “transition” begins formally during the 9th grade. This means that the IEP team, which always includes the parents, will look more formally at the student’s transition or movement to the world of post secondary (after high school) education, employment, and independent living. It also means that the student is expected to participate in the team’s decision-making as much as possible. After all, it’s his or her own life!

Briefly, a complete reassessment will be done that includes assessing what the student may need to make a successful transition to adult life. The IEP will include long term postsecondary goals as well as the annual goals and services to make the transition successful.

Visit PACER’s National Parent Center for Transition and Employment™ for more information.