Access is the Issue, Not Hearing Loss: New Policy Clarification Requires Schools to Ensure Effective Communication Access Communication access is a key component of 504, IDEA and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A November 2014 policy guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice clarified that, under Title II of the ADA, schools are required to ensure that students ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2015
Access is the Issue, Not Hearing Loss: New Policy Clarification Requires Schools to Ensure Effective Communication Access
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karen L. Anderson
    Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss, Minneapolis, MN
  • Disclosures: Financial: Karen L. Anderson has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Disclosures: Financial: Karen L. Anderson has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Non-financial: Karen L. Anderson is the Director of Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss.
    Non-financial: Karen L. Anderson is the Director of Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2015
Access is the Issue, Not Hearing Loss: New Policy Clarification Requires Schools to Ensure Effective Communication Access
SIG 9 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, April 2015, Vol. 25, 24-36. doi:10.1044/hhdc25.1.24
History: Received December 8, 2014 , Revised January 21, 2015 , Accepted February 3, 2015
SIG 9 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, April 2015, Vol. 25, 24-36. doi:10.1044/hhdc25.1.24
History: Received December 8, 2014; Revised January 21, 2015; Accepted February 3, 2015

Communication access is a key component of 504, IDEA and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A November 2014 policy guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice clarified that, under Title II of the ADA, schools are required to ensure that students with disabilities receive communication with others through the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services. In other words, they are responsible for ensuring that communication access is as effective for children with hearing loss as it is for their typically hearing peers. Hearing loss is invisible and the impact is often mistaken for a learning disorder rather than performance issues secondary to decreased access to communication. Information in this article is presented to assist the educational audiologist, teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing, or speech-language pathologist in demonstrating the impact of hearing loss on access to classroom communication so that the question “Does this student have effective access to communication in school?” can be answered in an evidence-based manner.

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