Understanding Deaf and Hard of Hearing

  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing Defined

    "Deaf or hard of hearing" means an hearing condition, whether permanent or fluctuating, that is so severe that the child is impacted in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child's developmental progress (age 3 through 5) or educational performance (age 5 through 21).

    To meet the eligibility criteria in Oregon for special education services under DHH, a student must meet one of the following minimum criteria:

    • The child must have hearing thresholds in at least one ear of 25 dBHL or greater at two or more consecutive frequencies at 500 HZ, 1000 HZ, 2000 HZ, 4000 HZ, 6000 HZ and 8000 HZ; OR
    • The hearing loss is due to auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) or aural microtia/atresia, as determined by an audiological assessment, a physician, a nurse practitioner, a physician, or a naturopathic physician. 

    The team must also determine that the student's disability has an adverse impact on the their educational performance, and the student needs special education services as a result of the disability. 

    Deaf/Hard of Hearing Identified

    The required components for an evaluation include:

    • Audiological assessment
    • Sensorineural Hearing Loss only: documentation indicating the hearing loss identified by an audiologist is determined to be sensorineural
    • Conductive Hearing Loss only: medical examination indicating the hearing loss identified by an audiologist is determined to be untreatable
    • Additional assessments are conducted to determine the impact of the disability (educational performance for school-aged students. and developmental progress for pre-school aged children)