Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


The current eligibility criteria for hearing impairment under state law is found at PI 11.36 (4), Wis. Admin. Code. If a student is found to have an impairment, the IEP team must also determine the need for special education services (PI 11.35).

HI Criteria Evaluation Guide - Eligibility Criteria Checklist - Checklist Word Fillable - Checklist Spanish Fillable

The Eligibility Criteria Guide for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing was written by a team of educational experts. This document includes the legal practices required during the evaluation process, a glossary of terms specific to the field of education for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, the current criteria for identification of students who are deaf or hard of hearing along with a expanded explanation of each area within the criteria, determining the need for special education along with expanded core curriculum specifically for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and a list of formal and informal assessment tools.

Information Update Bulletin 03.03, Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Implementation of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Disability Eligibility Criteria

Checklist to Consider Wisconsin Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Project (WDBTAP) Supports and Services

Programming for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

In Wisconsin public schools, there are over 2,200 students indentified as deaf or hard of hearing. These students participate in educational programs locally, regionally, and at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf.

Most students attend the school closest to their home with supports from staff with knowledge in working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing, with other support staff in the school, and of course, the general education staff. In larger districts, there may be multiple staff resources within the school and/or district. For students in our rural communities, specialized service supports by staff knowledgeable in working with deaf or hard of hearing children may be provided in an itinerant model; meaning staff who travel to multiple districts providing services for the students.

Other program supports provided by DPI include:

  • Wisconsin School for the Deaf (WSD) in Delavan provides educational services for students ages 3-21 who are deaf or hard of hearing. In recognition of the diverse needs of Wisconsin's deaf and hard of hearing children, the Wisconsin School for the Deaf is dedicated to educational excellence in a unique ASL/English bilingual-bicultural environment by preparing students to achieve their maximum potential and become successful citizens of the future. For more information on WSD go to:
  • The Outreach program provides a broad array of services, information, support, and training to school districts and educational programs in serving deaf, and hard of hearing and deafblind children and their families. Services and support are determined based on the child's needs. In addition, the Outreach Program offers unique programs for families including Deaf Mentor Program and Guide-By-Your-Side, and also provides professional development opportunities and the Professional and Family Conference. For more information on the Outreach program, go to: or an Overview of Outreach Services.
  • Educational Audiology Resources: Stacie Heckendorf, MS, CCC-A/SLP, is the WESP-D/HH Educational Audiology Consultant for DPI. She provides leadership regarding the role and services provided by educational audiologists throughout Wisconsin. Through her work on the Outreach Team, she provides consultation to LEAs regarding the development, evaluation and improvement of educational audiology services; information about Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD); facilitates trans-disciplinary collaboration; and assists families regarding individual services.


The Outreach program supports professional development throughout the year for all those working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing and deafblind. You can access the calendar of events at

Educational Interpreter Resources and Information

This page provides information on the DPI licensing requirements, schedules of the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA), tools developed to support effective practices, and more.

WKCE Results for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

This report lists data on the percentage of students who have earned scores of Proficient and Advanced on the annual state-required test for all students in reading, math, and science. The data covers a five-year period.

Resources and Materials Supporting Services

On this web page are a variety of documents and tools that may be useful.

State Superintendent's Advisory Committee on the Education of Pupils Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing


For questions about this information, contact (608) 266-1781