Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Robin Frink

Learning Resource Specialist

Lee County provides educational services to 153 students identified as deaf or hard-of-hearing. The Deaf or Hard-of Hearing Program offers a full continuum of services to meet both academic and communication needs identified on a student's Individual Educational Plan (IEP). Eligibility for the program is based on both a documented hearing loss and educational need. Students aged 3 through 22 years can receive itinerant services at their home school or attend a designated school site where classes are taught by a teacher certified in deaf education. The designated school sites are Allen Park Elementary, Fort Myers Middle Academy, and Fort Myers High School. Auditory-oral and total communication options are available at all levels. Sign language interpreting services provide students access to classroom curriculum and extra curricular activities. Additionally, a wide range of audiological services are provided for students through the district Audiologist.

Who is the Child with a Hearing Disability?

A student who is deaf or hard of hearing has a hearing disability aided or unaided, that interferes in processing language and adversely affects communication, developmental skills, academic achievement, vocational-career skills or social-emotional adjustment. The degree of loss may range from mild to profound.


A child is eligible for services through the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program if he/she has the extent of hearing loss that meets state criteria and there is evidence that the hearing loss interferes with progress in any one of the following areas:

  • developmental skills or academic performance
  • social-emotional development
  • linguistic and communicative skills

and requires specially designed instruction and/or related services in order to benefit from education.

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