A 21st Century Classroom
The Willie Ross School for the Deaf, in conjunction with research garnered from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and Gallaudet University, has implemented a universal design for all of its classrooms, which includes the use of SMART Boards, Sound Field Systems, computers, iPads and related instructional, technological devices. The design is intended to present instruction in a way that meets the cognitive and developmental requirements of deaf and hard-of-hearing students at all academic levels.
Our Unique Approach: The Most Enabling Environment℠
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a national mandate that requires public schools to provide special needs students with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) that addresses the students' assessed needs. As defined by IDEA, LRE means that to the greatest extent appropriate, disabled children should be educated with their non-disabled peers.
The education offered by the school must conform to the needs of each student as outlined in his or her Individualized Education Program (IEP).
At The Willie Ross School for the Deaf, we believe in broadening the definition of the LRE to the Most Enabling Environment℠. In a Most Enabling Environment℠, as defined by The Willie Ross School, a child's placement in an educational setting should be based on an assessment of the child's strengths and challenges, the environment's capacity to facilitate accessible, quality learning experiences for the child, and an understanding that no child should be barred from receiving the special educational services that could help him or her succeed.
Students who can access spoken language through cochlear implants are eligible for speech and listening therapy. This therapy develops their abilities to comprehend language through listening and to speak as clearly as possible.
Students with cochlear implants generally receive therapy 2-4 times per week, depending on their academic schedules. Therapy is also available after school which allows for parent involvement. The use of auditory sandwiching (speech-sign-speech) allows for the use of sign language to clarify spoken language when necessary.
The Word Associations for Syllable Perception (WASP) program is used during the early part of listening therapy to develop discrimination, identification and comprehension skills.