Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program (DHHP) serves Berks County’s school-age students with hearing impairments.

Two classrooms in the Reading School District serve the students: Northwest Area Elementary School (grades K-5) and Reading High School (grades 10-12+).

Each classroom serves up to eight full- or part-time students. Classroom staff includes: teachers, educational interpreters, communication facilitators, speech and language therapist, school audiologist, hearing itinerant teacher, and a school psychologist.

All classrooms use what is called “total communication,” combining sign language, speech, speech reading, and use of residual hearing to meet the unique needs of each student.

Referral and Assessment

School districts must make referrals for services by downloading and submitting a Request for School-Age Programs and Services Form to the BCIU. A DHHP representative will contact the student’s teacher, if applicable, and begin the assessment process. The assessment identifies the student’s strengths and needs and guides the team, which includes the school district’s staff and administration, in determining the appropriateness of enrollment in the program. Enrollment typically includes part- or full-time placement.

Students ages 5-21 with a documented hearing loss needing total communication to access their educational program are eligible for the DHHP.