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Special Education

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Sensory Impairment
The term shall include the following:

Hearing — The capacity to hear, with amplification, is limited, impaired, or absent and results in one or more of the following: reduced performance in hearing acuity tasks; difficulty with oral communication; and/or difficulty in understanding auditorally-presented information in the education environment. The term includes students who are deaf and students who are hard-of -hearing.

Educational Programs in Massachusetts

Approved Private Schools:

  • Beverly School for the Deaf
    Beverly School for the Deaf seeks to enhance the lives of Deaf and hearing children and their families living with communication and developmental challenges by providing comprehensive educational and communication-rich programs.

  • Clarke School for the Deaf/Center for Oral Education
    The Clarke School for the Deaf is a world leader in educating hearing-impaired children. For more than 130 years, the pioneering auditory/oral programs have taught deaf and hard of hearing children to listen and talk. They have trained hundreds of teachers for placements in schools around the world. In addition, Clarke offers comprehensive services and programs to help individuals of all ages who experience hearing loss.

  • The Learning Center for Deaf Children (TLC)
    TLC offers a challenging program of academic excellence for Deaf students from infancy through high school. The Learning Center's curriculum fosters knowledge and respect for both American Sign Language (ASL) and English, and for American Deaf and hearing cultures.

  • Willie Ross School for the Deaf
    WRSD offers a full array of educational programs from the Early Childhood level through the Secondary level. Students are eligible for admission to Willie Ross at age two-years, nine months. Students may remain enrolled at WRSD until the age of twenty-two or upon their graduation.

Public Separate Day School

  • The Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    The Horace Mann School educates all students by creating diverse learning environments that develop their full academic, social, technical and vocational potentials so that that they can be life long learners, responsible citizens and active participants in both their deaf and hearing communities.

Collaborative Programs

  • The SEEM Collaborative Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program
    The SEEM Collaborative Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program is a day school that services children in grades PreK–3 who have moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss. The program's mission is to prepare students for a successful transition to a mainstream school in their sending district.

  • The READS Collaborative program for children who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing
    The READS Collaborative program for children who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing provides educational services within a public school setting for preschoolers through age 22. Students are introduced to mainstreamed classes in the lower elementary grades, as appropriate, to gradually introduce them to using an interpreter. When entering high school, students have the option of taking general education classes and/or enrolling in vocational programming. The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program provides services tailored to each student's type of hearing loss, communication needs, and choice of amplification (hearing aids or cochlear implants).

  • The CAPS Education Collaborative
    The CAPS Education Collaborative provides programs for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students at the preschool, elementary, and high school levels. Programs are designed to meet the range of learning needs in a variety of group configurations, including 1:1 instruction. Individual staff members accompany students from the program who are integrated into general education classes.

Educational Programs in New England

Massachusetts Organizations/Resources

National Organizations and Resources

  • The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBell)
    AGBell is a membership organization and information center focusing specifically on childhood hearing loss, with an emphasis on the auditory approach. Informational materials address questions that parents typically raise, basic information on pediatric hearing loss, and general information on how to best service students with hearing loss in the classroom.

  • American Society of Deaf Children (ASDC)
    ASDC is a national organization of families and professionals committed to education, empowering, and supporting parents and families to create opportunities for their children who are deaf and hard of hearing in gaining meaningful and full communication access, particularly through the competent use of sign language, in their homes, schools, and communities.

  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
    ASHA provides information and resources about communication disorders for students, parents, professionals and others.

  • The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)
    The DCMP acts as a captioning information and training center. The DCMP is a FREE video lending library funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.

  • The Center for the Study of Communication and the Deaf (CSCD)
    CSCD is devoted to both applied and theoretical research to benefit the deaf and their families.

  • Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center | Gallaudet University
    Clerc Center is a federally funded center with exemplary elementary and secondary education programs for deaf and hard of hearing students, tasked with developing and disseminating innovative curricula, instructional techniques, and products nationwide while providing information, training, and technical assistance for parents and professionals to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing students from birth to age 21.

  • Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing
    The Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DCD) is the official division of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) that serves professionals interested in the education of children with special communication needs.

  • The Deaf Resource Library
    The Deaf Resource Library is an online collection of reference material and links intended to educate and inform people about Deaf culture.

  • The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID)
    RID provides international, national, regional, state and local forums and an organizational structure for the continued growth and development of the professions of interpretation and transliteration of American Sign Language and English.

  • Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
    The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy, and support.

  • National Association of the Deaf, K-12 Education (NAD)
    The NAD has long been a leader in support of and advocacy for equal access to education for each and every deaf or hard of hearing child. Find a wide range of information on educational issues including placement, assessment, inclusion, and rights. Use this information to inform others or advocate for yourself or your community.

  • Optimizing Outcomes for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Educational Service Guidelines (NASDE)
    This purpose of these guidelines is to supplement and update the information needed by teachers, leaders, families, school instructional support personnel and other stakeholders to have the knowledge, skills and vision to help children be successful.

Last Updated: March 20, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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