Our goal is to provide services to eligible students with hearing loss aged birth to 22.
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.
In order to receive services from Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD), a student (0-21 years) must meet the following criteria:
The Communication Philosophy of the ESC Region 13 RDSPD is designed to enable each student who is deaf or hard of hearing to:
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.