• DHH- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Department 
         Peoria Public Schools is proud to serve Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in the Mid-Central Affiliation (MCA) region consisting of school districts in Peoria, Woodford, Tazewell, Mason, Knox, Warren, Bureau, Marshall, and Putnam Counties.  We offer preschool through high school self-contained placements taught by certified deaf educators, mainstreaming options with support of certified sign language interpreters, full time inclusion placements with interpreters, general education placements with itinerant teacher services in home districts, and support services including speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, audiology, psychology, and social work services.  Our program is based on the Total Communication Philosophy which uses sign language, speech, aural rehabilitation (listening with amplification), visual phonics, visual cues, speech reading, and fingerspelling to promote development of receptive and expressive language.  For more information on Total Communication click on the hyperlink.   
    Preschoolers Learning  
    Valeska Hinton ECEC
    Preschool: The preschool classroom serves students with hearing loss ages 3-5 years-old.  There is a certified deaf educator and teacher's assistant in this classroom.  The deaf and hard of hearing classroom is a part of the early childhood center at Valeska and is a full day program from 8:30-3:30.  As part of the program, deaf and hard of hearing students mainstream into the general education preschool classroom for an hour of center time, lunch, and sign class with hearing peers.  
    Woodrow Wilson School
    Elementary: Students with hearing loss can attend Woodrow Wilson for kindergarten-fourth grade in self-contained deaf education classrooms, mainstream classrooms, or fully included classrooms.  There are 4 certified teachers of the Deaf and 2 certified sign language interpreters.  Two full time and one part time teacher work in self-contained classrooms with the other teacher offers support services in a co-taught second grade classroom.  Students have the opportunity to learn in deaf education classrooms and also be mainstreamed for core and special classes.  
    Sign Club:  Deaf educators provide extra curricular opportunities for hearing peers to learn sign language to communicate with their deaf and hard of hearing friends.  
     working together
     Middle School

    Sterling Middle School 

    Middle School: Sterling Middle School in Peoria provide services for deaf and hard of hearing students  from 5th to 8th grade with varying degrees of hearing loss and ability levels.  An atmosphere of total communication with certified and experienced teachers as well as certified interpreters in conjunction with cooperative general education teachers and staff allow the department to establish the best possible education to meet the individual needs of each student.  Two full-time and one part-time teacher have self contained classrooms that provide a full curriculum aligned with Illinois State Standards of reading, language, math, science and social studies.  The use of Visual Phonics supports their development of vocabulary and language.  Students also have the opportunity to be mainstreamed for core general education classes and special encore classes or full inclusion.  Students can and are encouraged to be involved in extra-curricular activities such as student council, basketball, soccer, volleyball, chess club, band and orchestra.  Students also receive speech and language therapy, as well as any occupational or physical therapy as delineated in their education plan.  



    Diagnostic Evaluation Team/Child Find:  Our deaf and hard of hearing program has a psychologist, social worker, audiologist and speech and language pathologist along with occupational therapy, physical therapy, and vision teachers who have been trained to conduct diagnostic evaluations for students.  Most evaluations are conducted at our offices at Sterling. 

    Audiology Services: Sterling School has our audiology office and audiological booth.  Student's can be evaluated by our certified audiologist to identify and explain a student's possible hearing loss.  Our audiologist will make recommendations for future services and provide ongoing reassessments for students when needed.



    High Schoolers
    Richwoods High School
    High School: Students with hearing loss attend Richwoods freshman through senior year.  There are 2 deaf educators that teach in self-contained classrooms and 5 sign language interpreters that provide access to communication and instruction in the general education setting.  Students with hearing loss have varying educational plans include attending some classes in self-contained placements, some in general education classes with interpreters, and some fully included in general education with interpreters.  The high school offers comprehensive transitional services to help students prepare for post-secondary university education, community college, and employment after graduation.  Additionally, students have opportunities for work release programs while in high school.
    ASL Club-  Richwoods has a variety of after school extra curricular activities for students to be involved in.  ASL club is a student organization for any students at the high school to participate in activities to learn American Sign Language (ASL).  Deaf and hard of hearing students and hearing peers can join together to bridge the gap in communication.
    Sports and Clubs- Deaf and hard of hearing students have the opportunity to participate in all the extra curricular sports  and activities with a free sign language interpreter.  Students and families are not responsible for the cost of the interpreter.  
    Itinerant Services
      Hearing Itinerant services are provided by a deaf education teacher to assist deaf and hard of hearing students, classroom teachers and staff, as well as parents. Assistance includes educating students: in self-advocacy skills, improving auditory and communication skills, assisting in diagnostic technology and education regarding techniques to assist in successful academic practices. In addition, Itinerants provide the general education teachers with recommendations in areas of instructional adaptations, student expectations, classroom accommodations and education for various amplification devices.    
    Support Services for Students
    Speech and Language Pathology: We have 1 speech and language pathologist who specializes in working the deaf and hard of hearing students.  She travels among schools to provide direct therapy to individual and small groups of students.
    Occupational and Physical Therapy:  Our program works with District 150's occupational and physical therapists for direct and consultation services for deaf and hard of hearing students.
    Interpreting Services: We provide interpreters at our deaf and hard of hearing program schools and other schools in the district that have students who require sign language interpreting services.  We currently have 10 interpreters at various placements offering access to language and communication through sign language.  Even our students in our self-contained deaf and hard of hearing classrooms eat lunch, attend PE, recess, and other specialized classes such as art, library, music, and computers with general education classroom students.  Interpreters attend these classes with students.  Interpreters also are available to students during extra curricular activities at no cost to the families.   

    Parent Support/Resources
    Sign Class: Molly Herman, the preschool deaf educator, teaches a beginning sign class for parents and family members in the program.  The classes are free to families and are taught from the Signing Illustrated book by Mickey Flodin.  For more information please contact Molly at molly.herman@psd150.org
    Internet Resources:

    Last Revised July 2015
    Questions regarding the website contact molly.herman@psd150.org
    Program Questions? Contact the Mid-Central Affiliation Office at 309-672-6715 or email our program coordinator at leisa.carlberg@psd150.org