TITLE 16
Education

CHAPTER 16-25.2
Instruction for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students [See Title 16 Chapter 97 – The Rhode Island Board of Education Act]

SECTION 16-25.2-2


§ 16-25.2-2 Development of program.

(a) In developing the individualized educational program for those students who are deaf or hard of hearing, the assessments necessary for the development of the program shall include a language assessment performed for each student to determine that student's primary communication mode, style, and language. The language assessment shall be undertaken by individuals proficient in the communication mode, style, or language(s) being assessed. The communicative social, emotional, and cultural needs and preferences of students who are deaf or hard of hearing vary widely and deserve careful consideration. The language assessment required for development of an individualized educational program shall consider the primary means of communication to which a child is accustomed, the student's ability and opportunities to communicate with others, whether hearing or not, and student and parent preferences for communication mode, style, and language. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing use American sign language, others more effectively express and receive English or another language orally and aurally, with or without visual signs or cues. Other students may most effectively use a combination of language(s) or communication modes. In order to meet the individual needs of these students, a variety of options must be available when determining an appropriate program.

(b) In undertaking the development of an individualized educational program for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, the individualized educational program team shall consider the individual educational needs of each student including, but not limited to, each of the following factors which is appropriate for the individual student:

(1) Providing the student who is deaf or hard of hearing with administrators, teachers, teacher aids, audiologists, speech therapists, psychologists, interpreters, and other personnel who are trained to work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and are proficient in the primary language(s) and language mode(s) of those children;

(2) Providing children who are deaf or hard of hearing with an educational environment which includes other students who are deaf or hard of hearing who are of approximately the same age and ability and with whom they can directly communicate;

(3) Providing children who are deaf or hard of hearing with opportunities to interact with adult role models who are deaf or hard of hearing;

(4) Providing children who are deaf or hard of hearing with full access to all components of the educational process, including but not limited to recess, lunch, and extracurricular activities;

(5) Teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing in English and American sign language so that they develop an "adult" level of fluency; and

(6) That the determination of the least restrictive environment as used in state and federal law takes into consideration the unique communication needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing as described in this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a particular language, communication, or program choice for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing. Those determinations must be made through the individualized education decision making process for each student.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1995, ch. 161, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 30; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 30.)