Teaching Hearing-Impaired Children in Regular Classrooms Essay

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Since the enactment of Public Law 94-142 (The Education for All Handicapped Children Act) in 1975, approximately one-half of all hearing impaired students in the United States have had the opportunity to be mainstreamed into regular education classrooms. This law was intended to ensure that any student with disabilities had access to a ."..free and appropriate education as identified in each child's IEP."

I teach at Northside Elementary in Colleton County. This school has seven hearing impaired students ranging from seven to eleven years old. All of these students are mainstreamed in regular classrooms for a portion of their day. Our hearing impaired teacher is at our school for the first half of the day and at a middle school
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This study is significant because Northside is the only elementary school in our district that provides services for the hearing impaired. Through this study I hope to educate other teachers on ways to enhance the reading ability of hearing impaired students since many of them will be participating in these students' education. "Mainstreaming the hearing impaired into the regular education classroom is a challenge, but with the help of many willing people, it can be very successful" .

Problem Statement

Are there gains in a hearing impaired student's reading level when mainstreamed in a regular classroom using the philosophy of Total Communication?

Hearing Impaired--The genetic term used to describe any level of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound.

Mainstream--Integrating special education students into regular classrooms.

Reading Level--The level at which a child should be reading at a certain time of the year. Most first graders start at a level one or two and should be at level eighteen at the end of the year. This averages to be an increase of almost two levels per month.

Total Communication--A philosophy that "implies the acceptance and use of any and all possible avenues of communication to assist the deaf child in acquiring and understanding language. Finger spelling, speech-reading, auditory training (training to help the hearing impaired use residual hearing), gestures, mime, reading, writing and sign language may all

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