Hearing Impairment is an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in the state statute. The term “hard of hearing” is sometimes used as a substitute for the term “hearing impairment” and shall be considered an equivalent term for purposes of these regulations.
Hearing Impairment is one of the four birth mandate classifications in Delaware. Children identified under those classifications are eligible for services to be provided by their local school districts through free and appropriate public education (FAPE). When a referral to Child Development Watch (CDW) is requesting an evaluation due to suspecting one of the above classifications, CDW will be immediately notify the local school district to include them in all aspects of the referral, evaluation, eligibility determination and Individual Education Plan (IEP) development.
If a child age birth to three is diagnosed hearing impaired or deaf, please contact Child Development Watch. They will collaborate with your local school district to evaluate, determine eligibility, develop a plan and provide services, if needed. Please refer to the Hearing Impairment Birth Mandate Referral Process for a detailed description of collaboration between CDW and school districts.
The current eligibility criteria for Hearing Impairment under state law is found in Title 14 Education Delaware Administrative Code Section 925. If a student is found to have a disability, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must also determine the need for special education and related services (6.0 Determination of Eligibility).
According to the Delaware Administrative Code, a qualified physician or licensed audiologist shall document that a child has a hearing loss such that it makes difficult or impossible the processing of linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification. Such documentation shall be based upon a formal observation or procedure.
Age of Eligibility: The age of eligibility for children with hearing impairment falls under the birth mandate. This shall be from birth until the receipt of a regular high school diploma or the end of the school year in which the student attains the age of twenty-one (21), whichever occurs first.
* Retrieved from Title 14 Education Delaware Administrative Code.