All children have the right to an effective communication system. For students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH), these communication systems include nonverbal, oral, or sign systems. A solid communication base is a precursor to language development. Students’ communication and language needs differ based on various factors.

This area of the expanded core curriculum includes:

  • Auditory Skills Development
  • ASL Development
  • Speech Development
  • Receptive Communication
  • Expressive Communication

(Source: The Expanded Core Curriculum for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing)


MDE-LIO does not endorse the purchase or use of any non-State Board of Education-adopted commercial products. Products and services noted below are included for information only and their inclusion should not be interpreted as a recommendation of MDE-LIO.

Early Intervention Network: Supporting Linguistic Competence for Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Gallaudet University's Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center offers research and resources to facilitate language development in children who are DHH using American Sign Language (ASL).

Hearing First
Hearing First offers resources for professionals and families as they support development and tracking of listening and spoken language skills in students who are DHH.

Language Development in Children Who Are Deaf: A Research Synthesis [PDF]
This research synthesis reviews what is known about how children who are Deaf develop communication skills. The report also discusses how this information should guide practice and policy.

DHH Communication Needs: Communication Plans
These documents (at the bottom of the Service Delivery Tools page) provide tools parents and professionals can use to guide discussions about a student’s communication strengths and needs. Communication plans can help teams discuss which supports will provide the fullest access to educational programs and services.

National Cued Speech Association (NCSA)
NCSA supports effective communication, language development, and literacy in families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or learning-disabled infants, children, and youth through the use of Cued Speech.