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Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program

The center-based program at Carson Elementary follows a combined approach to communication including Auditory/Oral and Total Communication.  The Auditory/Oral approach emphasizes the use of speech, listening, and speech reading to promote spoken language development and the Total Communication approach emphasizes a combination of signed communication, using Conceptually Accurate Signed English (CASE), along with speech, audition and speech reading to promote spoken and signed language development. Colorado authorized Educational Interpreters provide sign language communication support in the general classroom and tutoring support under the direction of the licensed teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing. Qualified paraprofessionals support the licensed teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing in the self-contained classroom, as well as students who are mainstreamed in the general education classroom. This program provides services for 3 year old ECE students to 5th grade.

The deaf/hard of hearing program is designed to students with skills necessary to achieve their maximum potential in everyday life. Teachers have been specially trained to integrate visual and auditory learning, developmental speech, speech reading, and intense oral, signed and written language instruction into all academic areas.  Students also use assistive technology such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, BAHAs, personal FM systems and soundfield units to access environmental and speech sounds around them.

The communication needs of a student who is deaf or hard of hearing, as identified in their IEP and on their communication plan, are used in conjunction with a child’s social, emotional, and academic needs to determine the best level and type of intervention and instruction.  The Carson DHH program serves our district’s students whose hearing loss significantly impacts their access to instruction and language development.  Our program promotes high expectations and growth in academics and English language development utilizing the Colorado Academic Standards and the DPS Expanded Core Curriculum to prepare students for success in school and in the community.

The Carson DHH program is also proud of its Blended Learning program!  In the Spring of 2014, under the leadership of Beth Vinson and Tamara Acevedo, the DHH Team and Denise Cushing applied for a Janus Blended Learning Grant. It came about as an opportunity to help our DHH students make gains as they attempt to catch up to their hearing peers in reading and math. Another strong component of the grant was the ability to bridge the digital divide between our school’s populations.  A number of our DHH students had limited computer opportunities outside of the school day, but through the grant, our DHH students in grades 1-5 are assigned a Chromebook that they transport to and from school daily. They have reading, math and other programs available to them, both orally and in sign language.

Questions about our DHH program?  Please contact Carson’s DHH Team Lead, Julie Hemphill  julie_hemphill@dpsk12.org or 720.424.9090.  Students MUST have an IEP and be recommended by the IEP team for placement at Carson Elementary in order for students to enroll in the DHH program.

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