| Peer Indicators
Early identification and intervention.
Families of deaf and hard of hearing infants will be provided, at the earliest possible moment after the birth of the child, appropriate identification, screening, information, and services to ensure age-appropriate communication, linguistic, social development, and cognitive development. Such options and services will be child-centered and family-focused to ensure that families fully understand the meaning and consequences, and are aware of all services and programs so that they can appropriately provide for their deaf or hard of hearing child. Such options and services must be "deaf-friendly," reflecting an understanding of the communication, technological, and environment issues that are so important to deaf and hard of hearing infants and children.
Communication, Language, and Literacy Access.
Deaf and hard of hearing children will develop age-appropriate expressive and receptive communication and language skills which are commensurate with their hearing peers and will become fully literate and productive adults.
Deaf and hard of hearing children require and are best served when effective and mutually respectful partnerships are established between and among educators, families, and the institutions and programs in the community that serve those children and their families. Given the importance of early and on-ongoing communication, language, and educational development for these children, a seamless system of information and services and programs must be made available to the family and child throughout her/his educational career.
Deaf and hard of hearing students are entitled to an educational program in which system-wide responsibility is clear and involves procedures for accountability, high-stakes testing, assessment, and standards. Accountability measures must include examination of programs and services on a local and statewide basis. High-stakes testing must be based on and fully incorporates the child's communication and language needs. Assessment of deaf and hard of hearing children must be comprehensive and include testing and evaluation of the child's communication, linguistic, academic, cognitive, psychology, physical, and all other areas pertinent to the child. The entire educational delivery system for deaf and hard of hearing children must be based on clear standards or "best practices" which reflects the best thinking regarding educational programs and services and the relationship of communication and language to literacy and educational growth.
Placement & Programs
Deaf and hard of hearing students require a full continuum of placement options that recognize, provide for, and are based upon their language and communication needs. A determination of what constitutes the "least restrictive environment" for deaf and hard of hearing students must be determined by considering the first and foremost these unique communication and linguistic needs and then the student's educational, social, emotional, cognitive, and physical abilities and needs.
Technology must be made available for and used by deaf and hard of hearing students to enhance their communication and language opportunities, enlarge their educational options, increase cognitive and academic skills, and enrich their lives now and in the future.
Professional Standards and Personnel Preparation
A collaborative partnership is needed among universities, schools, and communities to enable the preparation, recruitment, and on-going professional development of an optimal supply of teachers, administrators, and related personnel with the demonstrated knowledge, skills, and experiences to meet the needs of a diverse population of deaf and hard of hearing learners.