Legislation and Policies

This section of Info to Go includes information related to the legislation, laws, and policies impacting educational planning for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Clerc Center Resources

Educating Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Guide for Professionals in General Education Settings (Module 3: Educational Planning) (2016)

A three-module resource for educators in general education settings. It includes a full module dedicated to educational planning and the laws that guide this planning: IDEA, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act, and ADA. 

Tips to Go (2017)

A series of bookmarks designed for general educators who may be working with deaf and hard of hearing students. One bookmark and supporting web information center on a teacher's role in the IEP, 504 plan, and/or ADA process.

Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education
(Annual magazine published by the Clerc Center)

The Law and the IEP: Establishing and Maintaining High Standards for Deaf Students with Disabilities (2014)

It's the Law: A Review of the Laws That Provide Americans with Access for All (2013)

Section 504-The 1973 Law Still Makes a Difference (2013)  

Stakeholder Resources  

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004

Website of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, which covers the IDEA, a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. The website is designed as a "one-stop shop" for resources related to the IDEA and its implementing regulations. It is organized specifically to children ages birth-2 (Part C) and students ages 3-21 (Part B).

Building the Legacy for our Youngest Children with Disabilities (developed for OSEP, updated March 2015)

A training curriculum on IDEA 2004's Part C regulationsproduced by NICHCY at the request of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education. This training was developed to facilitate guidance for professionals in the early intervention field. It includes numerous modules designed to be used by trainers to train others. Each module has a slideshow, a trainer's guide, handouts, and activity sheets.

Comparison of Pertinent Part B and Part C IDEA Requirements Related to Children and Youth who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing with OSEP Analysis of Comments and Rationale for Part C Changes (Hands & Voices)

Document from Hands & Voices providing pertinent information about implementation of IDEA for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Endrew Decision and Deaf Education: An Analysis (2017)

Analysis of the 2017 Supreme Court decision, written by Barbara Raimondo, Esq, looking at "What is the standard a child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) must meet in order to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?"

Part C Eligibility Considerations for Infants and Toddlers Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (NCHAM, ITCA, 2011)

Document developed in 2011 by a committee convened by the IDEA Infant & Toddler Coordinators Association and the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management

Wrightslaw: Early Intervention and IFSPs

Answers to many parent questions about early intervention services for children. What is early intervention? What does it include? Does my child qualify? What should I do if I am not happy with evaluations, programs or services? What is Part C? Is it the same as Part B but for younger children? Is an IFSP different from an IEP?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  

Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (December, 2016)

Resource guide developed by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to guide families of students with disabilities in understanding the obligations imposed under Section 504. In particular, the resource guide summarizes key requirements of Section 504, and aims to increase understanding of these requirements for both families and members of the school community alike.

Protecting Students with Disabilities (Office of Civil Rights)

Document drafted by the Office of Civil Rights to answer Frequently Asked Questions about Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities. The purpose of this document is to discuss how amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (2009), impact the Rehabilitation Act and the meaning of disability in Section 504.  

Section 504 Sample Forms: North Dakota

Website, developed by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, providing numerous resources and sample forms for educators and families related to development of a 504 plan. Available resources are applicable to various states.

Accommodations via 504 Plans and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Supporting Success for Students with Hearing Loss)

Answers to questions and links to resources about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the American with Disabilities Act compiled on the website Supporting Success for Students with Hearing Loss.

Policy Considerations  

Bill of Rights for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

Webpage, on the National Association of the Deaf website, addressing issues involved in developing a Bill of Rights for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This type of bill, emerging in many states, stresses the basic human need for a child to be able to communicate freely with others. The website shares information about statewide initiatives in establishing a Bill of Rights.  

Common Core State Standards Initiative

Website offering comprehensive information about the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by many states, either in whole or in part. Included is a link to the standards as well as information related to implementation of the standards. Information is available for both families and professionals.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: Federal Support for Developing Language and Literacy 

Report from the Government Accounting Office examining a) the extent of hearing loss among students in publicly funded education, b) the types of settings in which students who are deaf or hard of hearing are educated, c) the factors that help children who are deaf or hard of hearing acquire language and literacy skills, and d) the challenges to providing appropriate interventions to these students.

Deaf Students Education Services (Office of Civil Rights)

Guidance developed by the Office for Civil Rights furnishes state and local education agency personnel with background information and specific steps that will help to ensure that children and youth who are deaf are provided with a free appropriate public education. It also describes procedural safeguards that ensure parents are knowledgeable about their rights and about placement decisions made by public agencies.

Equitable Access for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students: Understanding Legal Responsibilities for Institutions (NDEC)

With an emphasis on post-secondary settings, this guide leads professional through an understanding of the requirements of the law and how to apply it when developing policies. Practitioner pointers are provided for real world tips on how to develop procedures based in the law and which help to provide equal opportunity and access for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Expanded Core Curriculum for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Iowa Department of Education)

Website from the Iowa Department of Education providing tools for professionals working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It addresses areas unique to this group of students, which are not covered in the essential skills within the Iowa Core Curriculum. Information included is general to students who are deaf or hard of hearing and could be of interest to jurisdictions outside of Iowa.  

Frequently Asked Questions on Effective Communication for Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (Justice Department and U.S. Department of Education)

Frequently Asked Questions  Fact Sheet English  Fact Sheet en Español  

Dear Colleague Letter English  Dear Colleague Letter en Español 

Fact sheets and letters issued jointly by the Justice Department and the U.S. Department of Education, explaining public schools' responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to meet the communication needs of students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities.

Last revised November 2017

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