Pre-school into Kindergarten
There are three early intervention agencies that offer services for pre-school children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
1) Deaf Children’s Society (DCS)
2) BC Family Hearing Resource Society
3) Children's Hearing and Speech Centre of BC
When a Deaf or Hard of Hearing child enters kindergarten, there are two choices:
1) BC School for the Deaf (BCSD)
2) Mainstream school near family’s home
Choice 1: BCSD
Application to BC Deaf Education Committee is the number one step to take to initiate the process. We ask the interventionists from the early intervention agencies to facilitate the application completion with the families.
Choice 2: MAINSTREAM:
Families need to connect with the Hearing Resource Teacher (HRT)/ Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH) (aka: itinerant teacher) one year prior to the starting Kindergarten year (ie: Sept). A tour of the local school can be done in the Spring.
Educational support services need to be explored as well to ensure that all needs of the child are met. Asking the following questions can serve as guidelines:
1) Will the student need a Signing EA or a Visual Language Interpreter?
This often depends on the resources in the School District.
2) How often will the Hearing Resource Teacher see the student?
(ie: pull out 1-3 time per week for 30 minutes per session).
3) Will the student need a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) ?
SLPs often have a large caseload. SETBC also provides other resources.
For either choice, parents often need to become the advocate for their child. Parents need to take on a proactive role as well and keep in touch with teachers, TDHH (HRT), EAs and other members of the team who are involved with their child’s education.
Socially and resources within the Deaf Community that are worthy of investigation include: FNDC and PDHHS.