The legislature finds that it is essential for the well-being and growth of students who are deaf or hard of hearing that educational programs recognize the unique nature of deafness and the hard-of-hearing condition and ensure that all students who are deaf or hard of hearing have appropriate, ongoing, and fully accessible educational opportunities. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may choose to use a variety of language modes and languages, including oral and manual-visual language. Students who are deaf may choose to communicate through the language of the deaf community, American Sign Language, or through any of a number of English-based manual-visual languages. Students who are hard of hearing may choose to use spoken and written English, including speech reading or lip reading, together with amplification instruments, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, or assistive listening systems, to communicate with the hearing population. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may choose to use a combination of oral or manual-visual language systems, including cued speech, manual signed systems, and American Sign Language, or may rely exclusively on the oral-aural language of their choice. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing also may use other technologies to enhance language learning.
The legislature recognizes that students who are deaf or hard of hearing should have the opportunity to develop proficiency in English, including oral or manual-visual methods of communication, and American Sign Language.Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.