Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD)
Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf (RDSPD) in Texas were instituted by the Texas Education Agency to provide quality services to all students in Texas who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH). Due to the low incidence of hearing loss, students may come from several districts to a central school location for education services, or be served by teachers who are certified to work with students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing on their home campuses.The Brazoria-Fort Bend RDSPD is established as a shared services arrangement between eleven (11) neighboring school districts within southwest Harris, Fort Bend, and Brazoria counties. The member school districts are: Alief, Angleton, Brazosport, Columbia- Brazoria, Damon, Danbury, Fort Bend, Lamar Consolidated, Needville, Stafford, and Sweeny.
Parents, private or public school personnel, or any other person involved in the care or education of a student may refer a student who is suspected of having a hearing loss for specialized services for Deaf or Hard of Hearing students. Referrals may be made in writing or by telephone to any special education department of one of the member school districts.The following documentation will be reviewed for the eligibility of Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH).
- A report of aided and unaided audiological assessments by a licensed audiologist
- A report of an otological examination by a licensed Ear, Nose and Throat physician
- A report of communication assessment by a Speech-Language Pathologist or certified educator of DHH
- A Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) by a professional certified to administer the assessment
- A Speech-Language assessment by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist
Eligibility, Admission, & Placement
The Brazoria-Fort Bend RDSPD may provide specialized services for eligible students from birth to the age of 21 whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) live within the boundaries of one of the eleven (11) member school districts. Eligibility (as defined by the Texas Education Agency) is based on the type and degree of the documented hearing loss, as well as the subsequent linguistic impact and educational need. Only the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee can establish a student’s eligibility for services, appropriate instructional arrangement, setting, and placement. While placement to the RDSPD is made by the ARD committee, the location of the cluster site classes is determined by the RDSPD Management Board. Currently, the RDSPD cluster site locations are located in Fort Bend ISD.
The RDSPD provides specially designed instructional services to meet the individual needs of all DHH students at all ages and grade levels in a variety of ways: a parent-infant program, site-based classes in the public school setting, and an itinerant program for students who are instructed on their home campus. Development of audition, speech, language, and communication skills are emphasized throughout the program.
Parent-Infant (0-2 years old)
The parent-infant program focuses on early intensive stimulation to facilitate the acquisition and development of early auditory, communication, language, speech, and cognitive skills. Services are provided in coordination with the local Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program. Parental involvement and training in the child’s home environment is the cornerstone of this program. Students must be registered at their home school to begin services.
Early Childhood Special Education
The early childhood program is designed to provide continued development of auditory, communication, language, speech, and cognitive skills. In addition, pre-academic skills (i.e. readiness skills to prepare for reading, math, and writing) are introduced. Development
of self-help, motor and socialization skills round out this interactive center-based program.
The elementary program focuses on the expansion of academic skills along with continued development of auditory, communication, language, speech, and cognitive skills. This program is based in a stimulating and language-rich environment. Students participate in
general education classes (academic and/or non-academic) as determined by the ARD Committee.
In the middle school program, the emphasis is to enhance academic skills and begin to explore elective courses. Students will also continue to refine auditory, communication, language, and speech skills. Students may participate in general education classes (academic or non-academic) as determined by the ARD Committee.
The emphasis in the high school program is to solidify academic skills and thoroughly investigate a wide-range of course selections required for credit in core academic, elective, and vocational areas. Auditory, communication, language, and speech skills are made stronger. The goal is for each student, upon graduation, to be adequately prepared for entry into post-secondary life in technical or vocational programs, junior colleges, universities, or immediate entry into the job market.
Students (3-21 years) who attend schools in their home district receive direct instruction or consult services from a Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing as recommended by the ARD committee. Focus is placed on the development of audition, language, vocabulary, and/or communication skills.
Speech therapy is provided for site students through the RDSPD as recommended by the ARD committee. Auditory, articulation, communication, and language skill development are emphasized. The ARD committee determines the amount of the speech service. Itinerant students are provided speech-language therapy from their home district as recommended by the ARD Committee.
The Brazoria-Fort Bend RDSPD recognizes the importance of the development of age-appropriate communication and language skills for a child’s academic, social, cognitive, and linguistic development, as well as mental and physical well-being. Communication assessments are used in order to support maximum linguistic development for each student. Communication strategies such as listening, oral, signed English, spoken language, reading, writing, finger-spelling, gesture, pantomime, and body language are used to provide each student access to English instruction. Students who utilize American Sign Language as a first language are instructed through a total communication philosophy, utilizing Manually Coded English sign language for literacy development, with conceptual/ASL sign support to enhance comprehension.
For additional information about the Regional Day School for the Deaf, please contact Jackie Boyd at 281-634-1398, or Jacqueline.Boyd@fortbendisd.com.