Regional Day School Program for the Deaf

Eligibility:Parent with child signing.

In order to receive services from Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD), a student (0-21 years) must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a hearing loss confirmed by reports from a certified audiologist and an otolaryngologist (ENT)
  • Hearing loss must impair his or her ability to process linguistic information and have a negative impact on academic performance as determined through a communication evaluation administered by a certified teacher of the deaf. The communication assessment must be a multidisciplinary assessment conducted by ECI or the student's local school district.

Education Placement Options:

The Region 13 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf was established to ensure that all eligible students with hearing loss are provided a free and appropriate public school education. Cluster sites have been established to maximize use of services in Bastrop ISD and Hays CISD.

Services for Children Ages Birth to 3 Years:

Intra-agency coordination of services to infants with hearing impairments and their families provided in conjunction with Early Childhood Intervention programs, including:

  • Follow-up audiological assessment and fitting of amplification
  • Parent education and direct intervention in the home environment
  • Family access to publications, organizations and support groups

Communication Philosophy

The Communication Philosophy of the ESC Region 13 RDSPD is designed to enable each student who is deaf or hard of hearing to:
• Develop Communication for school, home and the community
• Obtain literacy in the English Language
• Have appropriate access to the general education curriculum and
• Be aware of various communication modes used throughout the Deaf Community

To reach this goal, the program will offer a Total Communication approach, defined by this RDSPD as a comprehensive range of communication options which may include aural, oral, sign language, spoken language, speechreading, auditory development, reading, writing, fingerspelling, gesture, pantomime, body language, pictures and assistive technology devices.

The ESC Region 13 RDSPD intends to adhere to the findings in the Texas Education Code Section TEC§29.302 (a) “that it is essential for the well-being and growth of students who are deaf or hard of hearing that educational programs recognize the unique nature of deafness and the hard of hearing condition and ensure that all students who are deaf or hard of hearing have appropriate, ongoing, and fully accessible educational opportunities.  Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may choose to use a variety of language modes and languages, including oral and manual-visual language.  Students who are deaf may choose to communicate through the language of the deaf community, American Sign Language, or through any number of English-based manual visual languages.  Students who are hard of hearing may choose to use spoken and written English, including speech reading or lip reading, together with amplification instruments, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, or assistive listening systems, to communicate with the hearing population. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may choose to use a combination of oral or manual-visual language systems, including cued speech, manual signed systems, and American Sign Language, or may rely exclusively on the oral-aural language of their choice.  Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may also use other technologies to enhance language learning.
(b) The Legislature recognizes that students who are deaf or hard of hearing should have the opportunity to develop proficiency in English, including oral or manual–visual methods of communication, and American Sign Language.”
As stated in TEC §29.303, “Students who are deaf or hard of hearing must have an education in which their unique communication mode is respected, used, and developed to an appropriate level of proficiency.”
The RDSPD will respect the student’s mode and language of communication. Instructional arrangements and appropriate support services will be offered based on mode and language, parent preference and data.  For most students, instruction will be in English, whether spoken or manual-visual English, in order to facilitate the development of receptive and expressive English literacy skills. Students whose first language is American Sign language are instructed through total communication, utilizing signed English for literacy development, with conceptual/ASL sign support to enhance comprehension.  For all students, conceptual/ASL sign support will be used as needed to enhance comprehension.  The program will refer to the data reported in the Communication Assessment (Eligibility Part C), ongoing data collection, and continued assessments to support and respect the individual’s preferred mode of communication while continuing to develop his/her expressive and receptive English language skills.
The program is committed to helping children develop their auditory potential including the daily check of personal and classroom amplification devices and proper use of both. We will expect and encourage children to wear the amplification that has been recommended for them by their audiologist. Students whose mode of communication is listening and spoken language will receive specific support services to help them develop these skills.  Staff will speak when signing English and will encourage students to speak while signing English to assist in building vocabulary, grammar, auditory feedback loop, speachreading, and spoken English skills. 

The ESC Region 13 RDSPD is committed to the early identification of, and intervention for, children whose hearing loss will seriously impact their abilities to develop language without special support services. The program recognizes that parental choice is a critical factor in the determination of a child’s communication system, and therefore, all communication options should be presented and explored without bias so parents can make communication choices for their child in an informed and supportive manner.

Lending Library

Parents can borrow books and videos from the Library at ESC Region 13.


Parents can receive email news and updates on topics related to hearing loss, both local and national. Contact Elaine Young at to request that your name be added to the listserv. No one else will have your email address and your responses will only be seen by Elaine Young.

Parent Companion

The Parent Companion website ( provides information, inspiration, and resources to Texas parents and caregivers of children with diagnosed or suspected disabilities from birth through 5 years of age.  Visit to begin exploring the multitude of resources available to you!
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Accredited Schools online
•Supporting Students with Hearing Impairments.

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
•Listening and spoken language is an option for children who are deaf.

American Society for Deaf Children
•Information and advocacy relating to children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Ask An Expert NTID:
International experts answer parent questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by parents and educators. This resource draws on high quality, peer-reviewed research and questions are addressed by members of the Center for Education Research Partnerships, Journal for Deaf Studies and Deaf Education and other national level experts.

•Information and emotional support for parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Center for Disease Control - National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
•General information on hearing impairments, including causes, screenings and resources.

Family Signs
•Offers free online American Sign Language or Signing Exact English classes for parents/guardians of deaf and hard of hearing students in Texas.

Gallaudet University
•The world's only university designed to be barrier-free for deaf and hard of hearing students.

John Tracy Clinic
•A non-profit organization with a mission to provide parent-centered services to young children with hearing loss.

Hands and Voices
Free, fun activities and resources to support the development of speech, language, and listening skills.
A multimedia connection point for families and professionals to improve outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing through listening and spoken language.

The Listening Room
•A nationwide non-profit dedicated to supporting families and their children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as the professionals who serve them.

Listen Up
•Information, resources and ideas for families with hearing impaired children.

My Baby's Hearing
•Information about newborn hearing screening tests.

National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management: Utah State University
•Information on newborn and infant hearing.

Raising Deaf Kids
•Topics for parents about raising deaf or hard of hearing children.

Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf
•Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at RIT/NTID receive a private university education with support services and academic programs that reflect the needs of the marketplace.

SEE Center
The SEE Center provides training and support for those who use Signing Exact English

TEHDI - Texas Early Haring Detection and Intervention
Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) is dedicated to ensuring that newborns and young children are identified as early as possible if they are deaf or hard of hearing. Our goal is to provide appropriate intervention services in order to prevent delays in vocabulary, communication and cognitive skills development

Texas Deaf Ed
A website collecting statewide resources and beyond for families, students, and professionals.



US Department of Education: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
•Opening Doors: Technology and Communication Options for Children with Hearing Loss is a publication that provides parents of children with hearing loss helpful information and resources.