*The RCSD partnerships across the province are being eliminated by the provincial government as of September 1, 2020.  As a result, the information on this page will no longer be valid.  The website is being maintained for one year to allow partners to continue to access the resources*

Consultant Service for Children/Youth who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

There are two types of service which help to support children/youth with hearing loss.

  • Educational Consultant for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)
  • Educational Audiology

These specialists work hand in hand often along with other support professionals.  While there is certainly some overlap in their roles, the simplest way to understand the difference is that

  • the DHH focusses on recommendations for adaptations/accommodations for the CURRICULUM
  • Educational Audiologist brings expertise about the EQUIPMENT that a student may use.

Both specialists require the information from an audiogram in order to provide strategies and recommendations.  Audiograms, therefore, need to be provided with the initial referral and updated regularly (ideally every 3 years).  In extreme cases if parents are unwilling or unable to take the child/youth for an updated audiogram, the student may be discharged from the caseload following extensive conversations with parents and school.  In this case, a new referral certainly can be completed once an updated audiogram is received by the school.

Educational Consultant for Children/Youth who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)

The CA RCSD partnership, which is the only funder of this service in the area, finances 1.0 FTE Educational Consultant for children/youth who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  The Educational Consultant (DHH) provides consultation largely to school staff regarding programming to support a child or youth with hearing loss.  This might include recommendations for educational resources, accommodations and adaptations.  The consultant might

  • make recommendations for modifications/adaptations/accommodations to the classroom, and possibly home environment;
  • support and provide guidance with specific goals in the students’ IPP;
  • help school staff (and parents) to understand the effects of hearing loss on learning;
  • assist with training in the use and care of essential listening devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and personal FM/DM systems;
  • make recommendations to improve listening situations in the classroom (and possibly, in the home);
  • interpret audiology reports for school staff and parents as they relate to the educational setting;
  • assist with identification/use of specialized resource; and
  • providing strategies for the student’s programming the areas of:
    • academics,
    • speech and language,
    • vocabulary
    • listening
    • communications,
    • self-advocacy,
    • social skills,
    • independence,
    • transitioning.

Consultant for Educational Audiology

The CA RCSD partnership, which is the only funder of this service in the area, finances .6 FTE Educational Audiology consultation.  This consultant provides support to students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who use equipment to augment hearing in the classroom.

The Educational Audiologist provides consultation to:

  • provide support to school staff with regards to proper use of personal hearing technologies (i.e. hearing aids, cochlear implants), classroom audio distribution systems (CADs) and other hearing assistive technology (e.g. personal FM systems);
  • train the school staff to troubleshoot and monitor hearing equipment; (NOTE: The Educational Audiologist is not available on an on-going basis to directly troubleshoot and monitor hearing equipment nor to re-train annually each new teacher.  Moving the expertise from one teacher to another for a new school year is the responsibility of the school.)
  • determine how the student’s personal technology can best be used with existing classroom technology (i.e. IPAD, Smartboard, computers);
  • communicate with diagnostic/dispensing clinics and parents regarding child or youth functioning in the school setting;
  • assess classroom acoustics and make recommendations to improve classroom listening situations;
  • interpret audiology reports for school staff and parents as they relate to the educational setting;
  • help school staff (and parents) understand the effects of hearing loss on learning and the importance of the use of the equipment.

NOTE:  Since the primary focus of an educational audiologist is student equipment, the student will be placed as “inactive” on the caseload if he/she is NOT wearing/using the equipment.  While the audiologist can assist school staff with strategies to motivate the student to use the equipment; it is the responsibility of the adults close to the student to encourage equipment use.

As a general rule, service for children with unilateral hearing loss or fluctuating hearing loss will only be activated by the DHH consultant in discussion with school and the parent.

School Visits from the DHH and Educational Audiologist

Services for students with Low Incidence needs are consultative in nature, and are based on the identified needs of the student within the school setting as well as the capacity of the adults to support child/youth.

When and how often does a DHH or Educational Audiologist visit a school?

There is no regular schedule or specific number of visits.  The Consultants provide programming recommendations, strategies and training for school staff and frequently these recommendations and strategies are on-going throughout the year and from year to year so even annual visits are not always necessary.  The DHH and Educational Audiologist and the school staff will discuss the frequency of visits to the school and contacts with the school depending upon:

-the needs of the child/youth (i.e. on-going consultation is necessary because the child regularly attains the goals established so frequently needs updated programming suggestions)

-school or family request for a follow-up visit because strategies/recommendations

  • are not clearly understood and further explanation is needed,
  • have been consistently implemented over time but child/youth is not responding,
  • have been consistently implemented but are out-dated as there has been a significant change in the needs of the child (i.e. new equipment, deterioration of condition).

-the capacity of the adults in the school to support the student,

-the overall caseload of the consultant.

Visits for Transition Planning

The September programming for a child/youth typically begins the previous year as part of the transition planning.  It is the responsibility of schools to engage in transition meetings as requested.  Schools are strongly encouraged to plan early if they wish the DHH or Educational Audiology Consultant to attend transition meeting as the consultants are shared among 10 school authorities as well as private schools.

Visits in September

The Consultation continues from year to year so initial visits from the DHH and Educational Audiologist are not necessary (or possible given the large caseload) every September or, in some cases, even every year.  Consultants’ suggested goals and strategies from the previous year which are included in the student’s program plan and the student record must be reviewed and typically should continue into the next school year.

Priorities for the Low Incidence Consultant visit in the fall are

  • a significant change has occurred with the child’s condition or circumstance that affects the student’s functional abilities (home, medical, equipment, etc.) and/or there is a new question/issue to be addressed.
  • a new referral,
  • new school.

Note:  When students move to a new grade, it is expected that the new year’s teachers will familiarize themselves with the program recommendations and the equipment by consulting with the previous year’s teacher(s), the student record and/or the specialty teacher.  The basic understanding of the equipment and how to trouble-shoot should already exist with the school.

*This website is a record of a constantly evolving partnership. It is as accurate as possible at any given time and will be regularly updated to reflect changing processes and information.  However, be advised that there may possibly be a lag updating the website with the most current information and processes.

*The RCSD partnerships across the province are being eliminated by the provincial government as of September 1, 2020.  As a result, the information on this page will no longer be valid.  The website is being maintained for one year to allow partners to continue to access the resources*