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FAQs - Center for Educational Consultation & Training (CECT)

  1. Do NMSD Educational Consultants provide tutoring, itinerant teaching, or direct teaching to students? 
    No.  Consultants provide support and guidance to classroom teachers and other members of the student’s educational team.  The team can offer demonstration lessons with students to show team members instructional strategies that address the needs of the individual student or groups of students. NMSD consultation services are not noted in a student’s IEP as direct services to them, though the use of consultation services by the educational team can be noted in the Prior Written Notice page of the IEP.

  2. Why do some students who use spoken language also use sign language? 
    Deaf and hard of hearing students who use spoken language are often perceived as having complete access in their school environment, when commonly this is not the case.  If students can express themselves with spoken language it does not necessarily mean they can receive messages fully through spoken language. Environments that have background noise or multiple people talking can make clear communication difficult.  Students may be successful using spoken language in one-on-one or small group settings, but be challenged in larger groups. They may have success when conversing about familiar content, but need sign language when grappling with new material. Even when spoken English is a student’s strength, they may also need sign language to support full understanding and access, depending on the environment and/or interaction.

  3. How will the district’s phonics-based reading curriculum work for our deaf and hard of hearing students?  Some students who have functional residual hearing may have a good understanding of phonics when learning to read.  However, for students who cannot hear letter-sound relationships, phonics-based curricula will have limited relevancy. For both groups of students, modifying the use of phonics-based reading curriculum is recommended. This includes an emphasis on the development of sight-words and phrases, building background knowledge and vocabulary prior to reading, and guiding students how to self-monitor their comprehension of text during reading.  Using a variety of visual supports such as graphic organizers, pictures, word or phrase walls, and the modeling of proficient reading strategies will also enhance comprehension of text. Of course, curriculum adaptations and supports will vary according to individual students.

  4. What are the costs of consultation and evaluation services?  
    There is no charge for NMSD’s consultation or evaluation services. Upon receipt of an evaluation packet, NMSD’s diagnostic team will review the request to determine whether or not NMSD will provide the evaluation. Once approved, families (with possible support of their school districts) must be able to travel to Santa Fe for their child’s evaluation.  Upon arrival, lodging and meals are provided.

  5. Why are FM systems sometimes recommended when a student already has hearing aids or a cochlear implant?
    FM systems connect to a child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant. With the teacher’s use of a microphone, their voice transmits directly to the child through the hearing aid or cochlear implant. This direct transmission diminishes the impact of classroom noise, often creating a clearer and more understandable message. Hearing aids often amplify background noise while amplifying voices at the same time. The FM system amplifies the speaker’s voice without amplifying background noise.

  6. Does CECT provide interpreting services/signing aides?
    CECT does not provide any type of direct or itinerant services to students, but does provide training and support for all staff working with students.

  7. Does CECT teach sign language?
    CECT offers a variety of programs that teach American Sign Language. Ongoing fall and winter/spring classes are offered in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Two, four-day, ASL Immersion Programs are offered at the end of July each summer. Additionally, NMSD houses an AmeriCorps Sign Language Teacher Program that places ASL teachers in rural locations around the state to provide sign language instruction to families in their homes and to staff/students in school programs that have D/HH students.

  8. What backgrounds do Educational Consultants have?
    All Educational Consultants have background experience and formal training in deaf education with many years of classroom experience.

  9. Does CECT provide services to deaf adults/post graduates?
    NMSD is funded by the state to provide programming for D/HH children (birth through high school). Other New Mexico agencies and organizations are charged with serving deaf adults/post graduates. Students 14 years old and above, preparing for life after high school, receive supports from NMSD prior to graduation.  NMSD partners with other state agencies to provide transition trainings for staff, students, and parents to make connections and gain skills that will help them post-graduation.
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