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Audiology
Audiology

The Audiology Program of Minneapolis Public Schools is a related-services program that is closely linked to both the Center-Based and Itinerant Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) Programs.  An audiologist is a clinical professional who diagnoses hearing loss and hearing-related disorders, and provides clinical consultation regarding these matters.  A big part of an audiologist's job is to fit assistive listening devices for hearing loss and to help students and staff learn how to use and maintain the devices properly.  All students who receive services from a D/HH teacher, either center based or itinerant, also receive indirect audiology services through the IEP or IFSP.  


Characteristics of Students
Students, birth to 21 years, have the potential to receive audiology services. Placement in a D/HH program is made after two steps are completed. First, a criterion hearing loss must be met, diagnosed by a certified audiologist. Second, another area of need must exist in addition to the criterion hearing loss. These needs could include: regular use of amplification in the classroom as determined by an audiologist, a need for assistance with academic delays resulting from hearing loss as determined by Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) staff, or a need for an alternate form of manual communication resulting from the hearing loss, such as sign language, as determined by D/HH staff. 


 Service Delivery Model
The Audiology Program uses an Indirect, Consultative Service Delivery Model. This includes significant face-to-face student contact, particularly as it pertains to fitting of amplification devices, and periodic monitoring of students' hearing and middle-ear status.

Consultative services include in-servicing staff and family members regarding the implications of hearing loss and aiding them in the use of personal hearing aids or school-owned FM amplification systems.The Educational Audiologists also consult regularly with hearing healthcare professionals in the clinical community and serve as liaisons between these professionals and families to ensure that all of the hearing needs of our students are being met.

In addition to delivering Individual Education Plan (IEP) services, the Audiology Team works closely with the Nursing Team as students in the general education population are screened periodically to identify new incidences of hearing loss. Because many of these hearing losses have the potential to be treated medically, these two teams work with families to give them the tools they need to seek medical follow-up. This helps to circumvent IEP services when they are not necessary. Therefore, the work of audiologists extends well beyond students who have been found eligible for D/HH services.