All children at Desert Voices are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Desert Voices offers the option for a deaf or hard-of-hearing child to learn to talk in an auditory oral program where sign language is not used. This may not be an appropriate option for all deaf children. Admission is based on evidence that the child has the potential to learn to talk well enough for spoken language to be the child’s primary means of communication. Testing of the child, review of reports from other programs and interviews with the parents help determine whether the school can meet the child’s needs.


Admission Criteria:

  • Sufficient hearing loss to need the kind of special education offered at Desert Voices
  • Non-verbal intelligence in the normal range
  • No other identified educationally significant handicapping condition
  • Good prognosis for learning to talk

Prior to admission, all children are evaluated in the areas of language, speech production, speech perception and cognitive skills. Testing is administered at the school or results of testing conducted elsewhere may be accepted. After a child has been evaluated by and has met the criterion for admission, the family will be given an enrollment packet to complete.

Quarterly progress is carefully evaluated by the collection of daily data and formal assessments. Students are expected to meet designated benchmarks in order to remain at Desert Voices. Progress is discussed with parents during conferences and through quarterly progress updates. Parents are required to attend a fall and spring conference to discuss progress with the teachers, speech pathologist and Program Director.