IEPs, 504s, PA-ECC and Communication Plans

The educational team at the student’s local educational agency (LEA)/school work together to determine the needs of each student who is deaf or hard of hearing and to compose a program to best meet those needs.  Families and students are an integral part of the team. 

photo of digital IEP

IEP Individualized Education Program/504

Educational teams may use an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan to meet the educational needs of the d/hh student.

  • They describe the needs and supports as well as the placement, personnel and the equipment that may be included in the student’s special education education.
  • There are many tools available to help the student and the family understand their role in the IEP process. Check out the Student-Led IEP Process Hub for more information.
image of the Communication plan form

Communication Plan

The Communication Plan is the first part of the IEP document and is important in determining the student’s educational support.
  • The primary purpose of the Communication Plan is to establish discussion among IEP team members who review the student’s needs based on communication skills and access.
  • It is to be used to complete other sections of the IEP, including accommodations, appropriate specially designed instruction, and IEP goals.
  • red star  to highlight following sentenceTherefore, the Communication Plan must be completed prior to the development of the IEP and reviewed at the beginning of the IEP meeting. 
  • The Annotated version of the Communication Plan has notes and hints that can help all the members of the team work on the plan, together, during the start of the IEP process and at the beginning of the IEP meeting.

Screenshot of the The Pennsylvania Expanded Core Competencies video box

Pennsylvania Expanded Core Competencies (PA-ECC)

The Pennsylvania Expanded Core Competencies for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (PA ECC-DHH) is a description of the unique needs of children/students who are deaf or hard of hearing. 
  • It shows where they are and where they need to be next.  The PA ECC-DHH helps teams decide next steps and what resources the student needs to arrive at the next level. 
  • There is a new website for the PA-ECC and it looks at the different levels of skill for academic language, audiology: hearing & listening, career & work readiness, communication: American Sign Language, communication: Spoken Language, self-determination & advocacy, social-emotional competencies, and technology.