The current eligibility criteria for hearing impairment under state law is found at PI 11.36 (4), Wis. Admin. Code. If a student is found to have an impairment, the IEP team must also determine the need for special education services (PI 11.35).
Information Update Bulletin 03.03, Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Implementation of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Disability Eligibility Criteria
Programming for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
In Wisconsin public schools, there are over 1,700 students identified as deaf or hard of hearing based on statewide data of primary disability reported to DPI via WISEdash. These students participate in educational programs locally, regionally, and at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf.
Most students attend the school closest to their home with supports from staff with knowledge in working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing, with other support staff in the school, and of course, the general education staff. In larger districts, there may be multiple staff resources within the school and/or district. For students in our rural communities, specialized service supports by staff knowledgeable in working with deaf or hard of hearing children may be provided in an itinerant model; meaning staff who travel to multiple districts providing services for the students.
Other program supports provided by DPI include:
- Wisconsin School for the Deaf (WSD)
WSD is a residential school for deaf and hard of hearing students from throughout the state of Wisconsin. WSD operates under the direction of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and provides educational services for deaf and hard of hearing students ages 3 to 21. WSD focuses on meeting the needs of students with disabilities in the areas of academic, adaptive education, vocational and social skills development. For more information, visit the Wisconsin School for the Deaf website
- Outreach Program
WESP-DHH Outreach provides a variety of programs and services to students, ages 3 to 21, who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind, their families and the educational teams and school districts that serve them, regardless of the student's educational placement or communication modality. Most of these programs are free-of-charge. For more information, visit the WESP-DHH outreach website and learn more by watching the WESP-DHH Outreach Program Video.
- Wisconsin Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Program (WDBTAP)
WDBTAP is federally funded technical assistance and dissemination project, which is run by WESP-DHH Outreach. WDBTAP is a resource to families, agencies and schools supporting infants, children and youth aged birth - 21, with combined vision and hearing loss. For more information about WDBTAP services and supports, visit the WDBTAP website
WESP-DHH supports professional development, community events, family activities, and other trainings for parents and professionals working with students who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind. You can access the calendar of events at http://wesp-dhh.wi.gov/events/.
Please see this page for more information on license requirements for educational interpreters from the DPI's Educator Preparation and Licensing team.
This page provides information on the DPI licensing requirements, schedules of the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA), tools developed to support effective practices, and more.
This page provides information on resources and topics relevant to the practice of school audiology in Wisconsin.
On this web page are a variety of documents and tools that may be useful.