SpEd Menu

Division of Special Education

  • Low Incidence Department

    AUD, DHH, VI, O&M, OI (More Information Below)

    In LAUSD, the Low Incidence Department provides services to children with a documented Low Incidence disability such as a hearing loss, visual impairment, or orthopedic impairment from ages 3-22. The District provides services to students who meet the eligibility criteria under California Ed. Code. The need for Low Incidence Support is individualized to each student, and is prescribed as part of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). All service provision is based upon the student’s assessed need and is provided in accordance with the mandates of the IEP and state and federal guidelines.

    The Low Incidence staff consists of highly qualified providers serving schools throughout the District. The providers all have current state licenses or credentials from the state of California in their field of expertise. They receive training regarding current educational practices and participate in continuing education opportunities to broaden their professional knowledge and enhance their ability to implement the latest research, low incidence technology and best practices.

  • Audiology Icon

    Audiology (AUD)

    The Audiological Resource Unit (ARU) provides an audiologic evaluation completed by an Educational Audiologist for any child from 3-22 years of age. District schools refer students to the ARU when there is a suspected hearing loss, a failed audiometric screening, or a teacher or parent concern regarding a student’s ability to hear.  Additionally, the Educational Audiologists are part of the team that assesses students with suspected Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). The Educational Audiologists also provide Designated Instructional Services (DIS) to students receiving Deaf and Hard of Hearing services in special day programs; they provide consultative services to students receiving DHH Itinerant Services; and provide support services and professional development regarding the use of residual hearing and amplification systems to students, teachers, families, and other school staff.

  • DHH IconDeaf/Hard of Hearing Programs (DHH)
    A hearing loss is a low incidence disability. California Education Code Section 56026.5 defines a low incidence disability as “…a severe disabling condition with an expected incidence rate of less than one percent of the total statewide enrollment in kindergarten through grade 12. For purposes of this definition, severe disabling conditions are hearing impairments, vision impairments, and severe orthopedic impairments, or any combination thereof.” Additionally, Section 56000.5 (a)(2) finds and declares that “…Pupils with low incidence disabilities require highly specialized services, equipment, and materials.”

    Overview of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) Program
    The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program serves eligible students with a documented hearing loss that negatively impacts communication skills and/or access to the core curriculum. Services are provided to students from ages 3 to 22. District wide there are approximately 2,060 students who qualify as deaf or hard of hearing.

    In accordance with the California Department of Education, The Los Angeles Unified School District
    •Accepts and respects all languages.
    •Accepts and respects all communication tools (i.e., Cued Speech, Signing Exact English, Conceptually Accurate Signed English, Sign Supported Speech, Simultaneous Communication).
    •Accepts and respects all educational approaches in the education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children (i.e., ASL/English Bilingual, Listening and Spoken Language, and Total Communication).

Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) Program Options

The D/HH Itinerant Program provides services to students from preschool through age 22. Students receive specially designed instruction and services in general education classrooms, special day programs, special education centers, and Career and Transition Centers (CTC). The itinerant teachers focus on a variety of skills based on an identified need. These skills may include auditory skills development, self-advocacy skills, communication skills, and language skills. Some students utilize the services of sign language interpreters to participate in general education classes and extra-curricular activities. Other students utilize personal and classroom hearing technology to access their education. Collaboration with general education teachers, school staff, and parents is essential.

The itinerant program has 54 teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, 17 audiologists, and 3 sign language interpreters. The itinerant program provides service to approximately 1,600 students with varying degrees of hearing loss in all Local Districts.

The focus of D/HH special day programs is on the development of receptive and expressive language skills with emphasis on the use of residual hearing and amplification and/or the development of American Sign Language (ASL).

The District provides 3 options to meet the unique language, communication, and auditory needs of students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. 
     • Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) Special Day Programs
     • Total Communication (TC) Special Day Programs
     • Marlton School Special Education - ASL/English (written)

The Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) Programs consist of classrooms at the elementary and middle school levels.  Teachers provide direct instruction using spoken English and students utilize hearing technology such as Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA), hearing aids, and/or cochlear implants to access their curriculum.  The focus of LSL programs is in the development of auditory skills, spoken language skills, and literacy skills.  State of the art classroom hearing technology is utilized to maximize audition.  Listening and Spoken Language Programs are on comprehensive campuses with elementary programs in each Local District and middle school programs in Local District East and Northeast.  In addition, teachers coordinate services among staff members and work to facilitate the integration of students into general education classrooms. 

The Total Communication Programs consist of classrooms at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Teachers in these classrooms provide direct instruction through the use of the total communication approach which utilizes American Sign Language, spoken English when appropriate, speech, auditory training, reading, writing and hearing technology including BAHAs, hearing aids, and cochlear implants. State of the art classroom hearing technology is available. Total Communication Programs are on comprehensive campuses in each Local District. In addition, teachers coordinate services among staff members and work to facilitate the integration of students into general education classrooms.

Marlton School is the only day school for the Deaf in the District.  Marlton consists of classrooms from preschool-22.  Teachers in these classrooms provide direct instruction through American Sign Language (ASL) and written English.  Marlton is a special education school with a general education component at the elementary level.  Marlton also has classes for students with hearing loss that are on the alternate curriculum. 

The Los Angeles Unified School District accepts and respects all educational approaches in the education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children (i.e., Listening and Spoken Language, Total Communication, ASL/English).


Program Options Graphic

California Department of Education:  Position Statement on Language Access

California Department of Education:  A Resource Guide for Parents of Infants and Toddlers Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

No Limits for Deaf Children

Advanced Bionics – The Listening Room

Advanced Bionics – Tools for Toddlers/Tools for Schools

AG Bell


CSUN Deaf Education and Families Project

Hands and Voices

Hearing First – Listening and Spoken Language

Language First

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center Gallaudet University

Raising Deaf Kids

Success for Kids with Hearing Loss

Reading Outcomes in Elementary School-Age Children with Hearing Loss Who Use Listening and Spoken Language:  A Preliminary Report by Sneha V. Bharadwaj and Whitney Barlow

The Benefit of the “And” for Considerations of Language Modality for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children by Kristen Secora and David Smith

Early Sign Language Exposure and Cochlear Implantation Benefits by Ann E. Geers, Christine M. Mitchell, Andrea Warner-Czyz, Nae-Yuh Wang, Laurie S. Eisneberg, the CdaCI Investigative Team

 Communication Considerations

 ASL/English Bilingual Education: Models, methodologies and strategies

Hearing First Mission: Probable Age Appropriate Listening and Spoken Language Abilities for Children with Hearing Loss.

 Communication Options for Children with Hearing Loss by Judith S. Gravel and Jessica O’Gara

  • Blind and Partially Sighted (BL/PS) IconVisual Impairment Program (VI)

    The Visually Impaired (VI) program provides services to students ages 3-22 with visual impairments whose vision loss meets the legal standard as either legally blind or partially sighted and negatively impacts their ability to access core curriculum and/or acquire the skills necessary to participate in fundamental life activities.  Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) provide instruction in the use of specialized materials and equipment necessary to access the core or alternative curriculum in educational settings including general education classrooms,  a VI resource room, the Low Incidence Learning Center (LILC) on a general education campus, and itinerant services for Blind/Partially Sighted (BPS) students and those with additional disabilities. Collaboration with general education teachers, District staff, and parents is essential, with additional support services including Orientation and Mobility, braille transcription, and Instructional Aide Braille assistance. In addition to providing access to the core or alternative curriculum, TVI’s provide instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), a disability-specific set of skills that compensates for vision loss and is foundational to all other learning.  The ECC focuses on compensatory skills, sensory efficiency, orientation and mobility, self-determination, career education, assistive technology, independent living skills, recreation and leisure, and social skills.

    ECC Puzzle Image









    PDF Icon Programs for the Visually Impaired Brochure

  • Orientation and Mobility for the Blind (OMB)


    Orientation and Mobility for the Blind (OMB)

    Orientation and Mobility for the Blind (OMB) is a low incidence service designed to instruct students 3-22 years of age who have an LAUSD visual impairment (VI) eligibility and eye medical report stating legal blindness. Students with a VI eligibility may require an OMB assessment to determine if they have a need for specialized orientation and/or mobility training, including the white cane to travel in a safe and oriented manner. Instruction is systematic and intended to promote equal access as well as integration opportunities within a student’s classroom, school, and community environments.  Service delivery models include direct, collaboration and consultation. 
     PDF Icon Orientation and Mobility for the Blind Brochure


  • OI Logo Orthopedic Impairments (OI)

    Orthopedically Impaired Itinerant services are provided to support students with the eligibility of Orthopedic Impairment (OI), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and multiple disabilities orthopedic (MDO) that have been placed in a special day programs or in general education classes, who have academic goals, and are served by Resource Specialists Teachers (RST) and where the teacher does not possess a credential specific to physical and health impairments.  For most students with orthopedic impairments, the supports and/or services for learning is focused on accommodations and adaptations necessary to access the curriculum and the educational setting. Classroom accommodations for students with orthopedic impairments vary dependent on the individual needs of the student and the characteristics of the specific impairment. Students eligible as OI may require supports and/or services that include special seating arrangements to develop useful posture and movements, instruction focused on the development of gross and fine motor skills, augmentative or alternative communication devices or assistive technology. 


  •  Los Angeles Unified School District ♦ Division of Special Education 

    333 South Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor, Los Angeles, CA  90017