Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Guidelines for documenting deafness or hard of hearing

1. A Qualified Evaluator:

Professionals conducting assessments for the diagnosis of a hearing disability and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. Such professionals can include licensed medical doctors with special training in assessing hearing loss or audiologists. Documentation should:

  • Include evaluator's name, title, and professional credentials

  • Be presented on the professional's letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and legible

  • Evaluator may not be a family member


2. Documentation:

Must be current: Reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of a disability. Consequently, medical documentation must address an individual's current level of functioning and present need for accommodations. An evaluation should be no more than three years old if hearing loss is progressive.


Must be comprehensive: Documentation must include the results of an audiogram with a narrative interpretation of it. This narrative should include:

  • History of presenting symptoms and relevant medical history

  • Description of current impairment with status static, improving, or degrading

  • Summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments/reports used to make the diagnosis

  • Duration and severity of the disorder

  • Documentation, if available, of assistive devices and technology used and the effectiveness of such accommodations

  • A clear statement of a hearing impairment, which does not use language such as "seems to indicate" or "suggests"

  • A discussion of current functional limitations in an academic environment and degree of impact

  • Suggestions of reasonable accommodations which are supported by the diagnosis


May include supporting information: In addition to the report of the qualified evaluator, it is also helpful to have records of previous accommodations, high school 504 plans or IEPs, previous medical evaluations, and other school reports to better understand and accommodate the student who is deaf or hard of hearing.