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Picture of a teacher with schoolchildren.

Due to the low incidence of deafness, qualified teachers of the deaf, support services and qualified educational interpreters may be lacking in many areas of Kentucky. Educational opportunities for deaf or hard of hearing children are varied and range from a residential school for the deaf to a public school setting that may be lacking support services.

Parental and family member involvement and their advocacy efforts are key to ensuring the quality education of deaf or hard of hearing children. The effectiveness of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) is dependent on parental involvement. Regardless of the educational placement, research demonstrates that with supportive family members, a deaf and hard of hearing child can achieve a higher level of education more effectively and overcome barriers more readily. There are many instances during the IEP process where leaders have little or no sensitivity training in deafness or exposure to deafness. It is wise to become familiar with the various educational approaches, communication methods and the laws pertaining to the education of deaf and hard of hearing children before beginning the IEP process.

When you want to ensure your child has full access to education your best course of action is to educate yourself about special education laws and process. Below are some key issues that you should learn about, with links to additional information.

If you have questions related to special education services here in Kentucky, you can contact the Office of Teaching and Learning, Division of Learning Services located within the Kentucky Department of Education. This office assists the local school district and agencies in providing appropriate education and related services to students.

Gretta Hylton
Office of Teaching and Learning
Division of Learning Services
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40602
(502) 564-4970
Fax (502) 564-6470

To obtain more information about services available in your area, contact your local special education co-op director.

For more information and resources regarding education for deaf and hard of hearing children, research the websites listed here:

New from Kentucky Department of Education!

Go to the ASL Survival Toolkit page at the Kentucky Department of Education's website.

American Society for Deaf Children

Alexander Graham Bell Association Inc.

Conference of Educational Administrators Serving the Deaf

Hands & Voices

Laurent Clerc Learning Center

National Association of the Deaf

The Southeast Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center

ASL Survival Toolkit