Schools and programs serving deaf and hard of hearing children
Know your options
Most parents in Minnesota will work with their home school district to determine the best placement for their child using an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The best fit for your child depends on a number of factors, including your child's unique communication needs, the school's educational curriculum, opportunities for social interaction and location.
It is important for parents to be informed and educated about the options available, so that they can ensure their child's IEP ensures full access to education. Having information helps parents to make decisions, but sometimes the wealth of information available may seem overwhelming.
Whatever decision you make, keep in mind that you can always change course if something isn't meeting your child's needs.
Early intervention programs are designed to help parents bridge the language access gap for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Early intervention programs are offered through your local school district, and are typically available for children from birth to age 3. Read more about early intervention on the Minnesota Hands & Voices website.
Residential schools give children who are deaf and hard of hearing full access to education through teachers fluent in American Sign Language and English. Because all students are deaf or hard of hearing, they have equal access to social interaction with peers. The Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, located in Faribault is a residential school.
Day schools also provide children who are deaf and hard of hearing full access to education through teachers fluent in American Sign Language and English. Because all students are deaf or hard of hearing, they have equal access to social interaction with peers.
"Mainstream" refers to when a child with hearing loss attends his or her local public school. The programs offered to mainstreamed students can vary by school district, but they must meet the federal laws (IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) governing K12 education. A student who is mainstreamed may access education through interpreters or assistive technology, may spend some part of the day in a special education classroom, or may have a classroom with peers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Become an advocate for your child's education needs
If you would like more resources to become the best advocate you can be for your child's education, check out this new Parent Advocacy app! The Parent Advocacy app helps you to understand your child’s rights and prepare to work with the school in the best interest of your child. It may be helpful in preparing for IEP meetings, 504 meetings or other meetings, and is designed especially with the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children in mind. The Parent Advocacy app is a collaboration between the NAD, Gallaudet University Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, American Society for Deaf Children and Hands and Voices. It is available from Google Play Store (for Android devices) and the App Store (for Apple devices).
Statewide education resources