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Program Description

Manchester Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Manchester School District guarantees access to quality education in a regional setting for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, from preschool through twelfth grade. The Manchester Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MPDHH) is the largest program in New Hampshire, serving a diverse student population including deaf, hard of hearing and students with multiple challenges. On all levels, students are involved with age appropriate peers, hearing, deaf and hard of hearing students.

The Manchester Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is staffed by highly qualified teachers, specialists and educational assistants prepared to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing students. Using an integrated approach, developed in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), the education team seeks to maximize opportunities for developing student’s academic, intellectual, social and emotional growth while focusing on their the unique strengths and abilities.

Language development and communication skills are the foundational blocks for this program on every level. The Manchester Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing does not endorse one communication method over another. We choose communication methodologies that best match a student’s needs. Including spoken English, sign supported English and American Sign Language. We are equipped to meet the needs of students with cochlear implants (CIs) as well as students who use hearing aids and FM systems. We encourage the use residual hearing and students receive related services designed to help them maximize the use of their CIs and hearing aids.

Educational services may be accessed in the regular classroom setting or in a resource setting. Students are placed in mainstream classes based on the recommendations in their IEP. The education team meets on an ongoing basis to monitor a student's placement and progress to ensure success. Each student’s individual education plan may include speech and language therapy, counseling services and other services based on individual needs.

DHH program
This is who we are:

Our staff serve as Deaf and Hard of Hearing role models. We have on staff Teachers of the Deaf, Interpreters, Tutors and Educational Assistants. We also have on staff Speech and Language Specialists, School Psychologists and Counselors who are trained to work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals.

Program Highlights - What We Offer:
  • Deaf Culture 
  • Visual learning environment 
  • Sign supported English for hard of hearing students and children with cochlear implants 
  • ASL and written English Staff are trained in a variety of specialty areas relating to deafness and hearing loss 
  • Rich environment fostering self-esteem
  • Assistive equipment for students
  • ASL classes for Non-Deaf students
  • Opportunities for Mainstreaming as well as small group and one-on-one resource room instruction
  • Extra-curricular opportunities with Interpreters and peers (Interpreting services are available)
  • Community Education and support for parents
Side by Side Preschool Program 

Children with hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM systems will learn side by side with Manchester students with typical hearing. A certified teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing and an experienced paraprofessional provide classroom instruction, Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 11:30 am. Classes are small (no larger than 10 children) to allow for individual attention and nurturing. 

The Side by Side Program is open for children ages 3-5 that are ready for an interactive preschool experience. Enrollment is open to hard of hearing children from Manchester and surrounding districts as well as children with typical hearing from Manchester. Preschool age siblings of current deaf and hard of hearing students may be excellent candidates for this program. 

Preschool Side-by-Side
The program is designed to facilitate social and communication interaction between children with typical hearing and language development, and hard of hearing children. The same curriculum resources, Curiosity Corner and Everyday Math, currently used at the Selma Dietch Early Learning Program, will be implemented in this program. This includes the creativecuriculum.net assessment for preschool outcomes. The side by side program emphasizes spoken language development and English listening skills. Classes are conducted in sign supported English.

We recognize that student’s needs change over time. Placement is determined by a student's academic ability and their need for support and services. Students may access the curriculum in the mainstream with interpreting services and /or technical support or in the resource room with direct instruction from a certified teacher of the deaf. Students may take classes in the mainstream on a full time or incremental basis.
Kindergarten Through High School Programs

DHH Stduents
Kindergarten Program: 
Provides a rich linguistic environment with many opportunities for experiential language development. For children between the ages of three and six, hands and voices are used to assure that all students have full access to the wide array of information they need to develop to their potential - cognitively, socially, emotionally, and linguistically (develop listening, speech and sign language skills). A team approach with parental involvement is viewed as a priority so we offer support to aid parents with communication, behavior and socialization issues.

DHH Students
Elementary through High School Program:
 Language development is an integral part of all program curricula. It is uniquely combined with the New Hampshire Curricula for Math, Reading, Social Studies, Science, English/Language Arts, etc. In fact, All related subject areas including Art and Physical Education are also designed to enhance a language based program. Our students participate in the rigorous State of New Hampshire Education Frameworks.

The high school level offers the additional option of vocational classes and programs. The educational team work to develop a plan for each student to help them become a successful citizen in school and in the community.