Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD)
The Texas Education Agency requires school districts to have a process by which they will be able to provide an appropriate educational program to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. This process includes establishing Regional Day Schools for the Deaf, created by two or more school districts that enter into an agreement to consolidate services to D/HH students. Under an agreement, called a shared services arrangement (SSA) the participating districts define what services will be, where the services will be provided, which students will be eligible for enrollment and what costs will be incurred.
At the present time, Judson ISD is a member of the North East ISD RDSPD. Any student between the ages of birth and 22 who has a hearing impairment which severely impairs his/her ability to process linguistic information through hearing, even with recommended amplification, and which adversely affects educational performance shall be eligible for consideration for RDSPD. Placement in the RDSPD program must be through the action of an ARD committee. Representatives from the home district and the receiving district should participate in the decision-making.
The North East RDSPD will provide:
- Centralized sites for D/HH students on school campuses within NEISD boundaries;
- Classrooms that are suitable and sufficient;
- Instruction from a certified D/HH educator in self-contained and inclusionary settings;
- Interpreter services;
- Audio logical services
- Speech therapy.
The purposes of the RDSPD are:
- To provide efficient delivery of legally required special education and related services to eligible students;
- To provide an educational program for students with auditory impairments which will enable the student and his/her family to manage the sensory deficit of the hearing loss in a manner that will allow the student to attain equality of educational opportunities available to students in public schools without hearing loss;
- To provide information to the community which fosters early identification of deaf/hard of hearing infants and toddlers;
- To provide a range of program options, communication modes, amplification and educational strategies designed to provide for individual differences among deaf/hard of hearing children;
- To provide opportunities for the development of linguistic and communicative competencies required for an individual to function independently in society upon completion of a public school education;
- To provide instruction that is based on data collection and assessment in order to select the most appropriate instructional strategies to close the achievement gap between children with normal hearing and children with a hearing impairment; and introduce current technology which would assist the deaf/hard of hearing student to gain equal access to the world of work, leisure, and interpersonal relationships available to persons without hearing loss;
- To provide programs and services which recognize that consideration must be given to psychosocial management of hearing loss as well as medical, educational, and communication;
- To provide programs and services to the student which include the family as an on-going member of the education team; to provide a variety of deaf/hard of hearing role models for the student and the family; to develop opportunities to inform the public about the skills, communication strategies and technology used by deaf/hard of hearing persons in order for the deaf person to gain equal access in his/her community.
In order for a student to participate in the RDSPD program, he/she must qualify for special education as having an auditory impairment, as documented on the ontological exam (AI, Part A), the audio logical exam (AI, Part B) and the communication assessment. The ARD committee must determine that the student has a serious hearing loss that impairs the ability to process linguistic information, and that he/she would benefit from the services available in the RDSPD.
Some AI students will not need the special education services available through the RDSPD. These students will receive services in Judson ISD, in classrooms appropriate for their educational needs with itinerant services from a certified D/HH teacher and related services, as determined by ARD committees. Other supports that may be considered for these students include:
- Support from a Deaf Support Specialist (DSS) who has functional sign language skills and an understanding of the needs of students with hearing loss;
- Services from a certified sign language interpreter who is able to interpret speech into sign language, and vice versa, to facilitate communication between the student, his/her teachers, and peers.