MY GUIDE > Education Services for Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

KEYWORDS: age 1 up to age 3age 3 through 5newborn up to age 1school basedservices and transitions

ECI for children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) offers specialized early intervention services for infants and toddlers with hearing loss and their families. These services are called “deaf education early intervention services” or “parent-infant services,” and are coordinated by parent advisors (teachers for infants and toddlers who have hearing loss) from the Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf (RDSPD), local school districts, and Texas School for the Deaf. 

Services for infants and toddlers are based on an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and will be different for each child and family based on their individual needs. They will be provided in your home and/or other natural environments where your child lives, learns, and plays. 


Only the Auditory Impairment (AI) services and ECI service coordination are free. Any other services (e.g., physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy; nutrition; etc.) fall under ECI’s Family Cost Share and you may have to pay for them. No family is turned away because of an inability to pay.

IFSP info for children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Making a Plan for Your Child: IFSP Considerations for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (PDF) is a 6-page downloadable booklet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that has information and advice about developing an IFSP for a child who has hearing loss.


“Deaf,” “hard of hearing”, and “hearing loss” are often referred to as “auditory impairment” or “AI” in ECI and the public school system. 

In Texas, teachers for infants and toddlers who have hearing loss are called “parent advisors” or PAs. Teachers for children with hearing loss from 3 through 21 years old are often called “deaf ed teachers” or “AI teachers.”

ESC deaf education contacts and RDSPD

Each Education Service Center (ESC) across the State has a deaf education contact. These contacts can help you connect with your local ECI program or school district staff and give you information about resources in your community. 

The Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD) was established by the Texas legislature and is operated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in partnership with local public schools across the state. RDSPDs provide developmental and educational services to children (birth through 21 years) who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families. 

Statewide Outreach Center (SOC) and TSD

(formerly the Educational Resource Center on Deafness ERCOD) 

The Statewide Outreach Center (SOC) (formerly the Educational Resource Center on Deafness-ERCOD) at the Texas School for the Deaf provides statewide outreach services to support deaf and hard of hearing students (ages birth through 21 years), their families, and the professionals who serve them. SOC provides online listings of programs and services and information and resources.

SOC offers a Parent Infant Program in the Austin area that includes home visits for children birth to age three and morning onsite classes for toddlers 18 months to 3 years. At age 3 children can transition into a preschool program that best meets their individual needs. This can include the Early Childhood Education program (for children 3-5 years) at Texas School for the Deaf, another program in their home school district, or at the closest RDSPD site.

Please note the Educational Resource Center of Deafness ERCOD referenced in the video below is now the Statewide Outreach Center. While the name has changed, the purpose of the Center shared in the video remains the same. Many of the resources and programs referenced in the video can be found in links shared in the Statewide Outreach Center section of this page (above).