Children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have extra learning needs than their hearing peers. Additionally, these students often have fewer opportunities than their hearing peers to learn by listening to or observing others. Extended learning focuses on areas specific to a deaf child’s needs, such as audiology, communication, career education, self-determination and self-advocacy, social-emotional skills and assistive technology. Such areas are often termed, “expanded core curriculum.”
Extended learning has occurred throughout Iowa with the Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired since 2009. Iowa School for the Deaf is now also offering extended learning to deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Iowa. Usually offered after school or on weekends, these opportunities also enable families to support one another and students to interact with peers who have similar educational challenges and experiences.
The first extended learning activities will be available for all deaf/hard-of-hearing students served in the Keystone AEA and AEA 267 areas. More extended learning opportunities will gradually be available statewide.
Susan Rolinger, Director of Extended Learning