ESC Region 11 Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services


Before I became a teacher, I had no idea that you could fit so many kids into one heart.

Laura Norman

Kindergarten Teacher

Non-Traditional Deaf Education Certification Program: Application NOW Open!

The Non-Traditional Deaf Education Certification Program is currently accepting applicants!

  • Are you interested in becoming a certified Teacher of the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing?
  • Do you know someone interested in becoming a certified Teacher of the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing?

Applicant requirements:

  • Currently certified in one or more areas of education
  • Must have three or more years of teaching experience
  • Must have a functional computer and Internet access

Additional Information and Online Application

Application Deadline: March 23, 2021 @ 11:59 p.m.


HB 548 Language Acquisition for Deaf/HH Children (Ages 0-8)

"The 86th Texas Legislature finds that children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing are often at risk for language delay or deprivation. The purpose of HB 548 is to generate and monitor data on the language acquisition of children eight years of age or younger who are deaf or hard of hearing."

Helpful links:

NEW on the TEA Sensory Impairments Page:

  • Nothing new has been posted since the January Engage newsletter was published.

As LEAs begin implementing HB 548, questions arise and new information becomes available. Please continue to ask questions, and please pay attention. This portion of the Engage newsletter will be updated monthly.




Mental Health Crisis Hotline

Text DEAF to 741741

The person on the other end of the line will know sign language.


Text HOME to 741741

This hotline is for persons not requiring sign language communication.

Mental Health Symposium for Deaf and DeafBlind Youth

April 22, 2021; 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

April 23, 2021; 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Virtual Symposium via Zoom

Cost: $25

Hosted by the Texas Mental Health Initiative for Deaf Youth, this is the first Symposium that will address mental health issues, concerns, and needs of youth who are deaf or deafblind. This event will be two half-days of presentations, group discussion, and networking. Mental Health professionals, educators, community service providers, families, and consumers are welcome to attend. This event will be virtual, and interested persons from across the state are encouraged to participate.

Registration Link

Registration closes on March 21, 2021.

Limited parent scholarships are available upon request. Contact Edgenie Bellah.

For questions, please contact Trish Grooms.

2021 ADARA Virtual Conference

A National Conference offered by ADARA, the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association

Friday, March 12, 2021

1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Additional Information and Registration

Questions? Please contact office@adara.org

Printable Flyer
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Imagine Deaf Arts #All In

The theme for this year's Imagination Texas is #All In. The Imagination Texas Planning Committee aims for 100% participation of all RDSPDs in Texas and even beyond. This year, Imagination Texas can be accessed via a virtual format in a classroom or from home.

There is no cost to participate; however, a free account with ConnectToTexas is required.



IMPORTANT ESC Region 11 Registration Information about D/HH Sessions


DEADLINES: Registration for all virtual learning opportunities will close the day before the session, so please register sooner rather than later!

DEMAND: Because virtual and online sessions can be accessed far beyond the North Texas area, workshops are filling up quicker than they have in the past. Again, please register sooner rather than later!

ACCOMMODATIONS: If accommodations such as a sign language interpreter or captioning are needed, please email Anne Darr at least FIVE DAYS BEFORE the session to make that request.

2021 Texas Transition Fair for Students who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing

Registration Link

Password: DHH2021

Please note the following:

  • This event/course will be available in English and American Sign Language.
  • This event is 100% online and asynchronous.
  • This statewide event is a collaborative effort of Education Service Centers in Regions 4, 10, 11, 13, 17, and 20.
  • Every participant (student, teacher, parent, etc.) must register through ESC Region 11.

  • This event is for TEXAS RESIDENTS ONLY.
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DeafBlind Graduate Certificate Initiative through Texas Tech University

"The DeafBlind Graduate Certificate Initiative will provide funding assistance to qualified candidates through a grant from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to cover tuition and fees for online courses needed for the DeafBlind Graduate Certificate."

Additional Information and Grant Application

For questions about the TTU DeafBlind Program, contact Dr. Phoebe Okungu.

IEP Goal Development in Texas 2020-2021

FREE online modules that are available at your convenience:

This course focuses on the portion of the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) process related to developing a student's Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP), using the PLAAFP to create enrolled grade-level measurable annual academic goals, and progress monitoring. This training is a joint project of the Progress in the General Curriculum Statewide Network and the Texas Education Agency.

Registration Link

For more information, contact Cara Wyly, ESC Region 20.

For Administrators...

North Texas Virtual Meetings:

Spring 2021 RDSPD Supervisor Virtual Networking Meetings

Please email Anne Darr to request the registration password.

Bi-Monthly Watercooler Chats:

Registration is required.

To register:

  • Log into the TxSSN Community of Practice: https://txdhh.matrixlms.com/
  • Go to "Groups"
  • Go to "RDSPD Supervisors"
  • Click on the calendar icon in the top menu bar
  • Click on the link in the calendar to register

For Audiologists...


FREE learning opportunities

CEUs are available through the American Academy of Audiology.

For Interpreters...


A variety of courses to improve one's sign language skills are available for CEU credit. Note: You must log in or sign up for a TxSSN (Texas Sensory Support Network) account in order to access these courses. It's super easy. To get started, just click on the blue hyperlink above.

For Parent Advisors...


Foundations in Early Intervention is back online and ready for registration! This online, self-paced, asynchronous course has been developed to support Teachers of the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing who serve infants/toddlers and their families. Topics include every aspect of early intervention service delivery from newborn hearing screenings through transition services at age three, and participants can choose the modules that best meet their needs. Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours are available for participants who complete one or more modules.

Questions? Contact Mari Hubig, Mari.Hubig@tsd.state.tx.us


Have you joined the D/HH Parent Advisor Online Networking Group?

Parent Advisors from all over Texas meet online several times each semester to discuss topics, troubleshoot issues, answer questions, share successes, and receive updates. To participate in these meetings, please email Mari Hubig and ask to be added to the distribution group.

Upcoming Zoom Meetings (click on the date to register):


Due to circumstances out of our control, we have been thrown into providing tele-intervention with little or no training! Join us as we explore the concept of tele-intervention, coaching parents, and other strategies necessary to provide services to families of infants and toddlers who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind.

For Speech-Language Pathologists...

The SLP Scoop Newsletter

Are you receiving The SLP Scoop, the ESC Region 11 Speech-Language Pathology Newsletter? Click on the button below to access the most current edition, and contact Katie Adams, ESC Region 11 SLP Consultant, if you have questions or need additional information.

To receive the SLP Scoop immediately upon publication every month, please subscribe by clicking on the orange "Follow Katie Adams" button in The SLP Scoop and enter your name and email address.

For Teachers...

Pre-K/K Teachers of the D/HH Learning Community Group

  • Do you work with the youngest D/HH students in a school setting?
  • Would you like to network with other Teachers of the D/HH who are also working with this population?
  • Do you have questions to ask, ideas and strategies to share, and/or situations to troubleshoot?

If so, please join this group!

  1. Go to https://txdhh.matrixlms.com/
  2. Click on "Groups"
  3. Find the "Pre-K/K Teachers of the Deaf" Group and join it!


Are you a new Teacher of the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing (TODHH) in Texas?
Have you been a TODHH for less than three years?
Would you like an opportunity to network with other new Teachers of the D/HH?

If so, please make plans to attend the New TODHH Virtual Snack and Share sessions. Participants will meet virtually to discuss topics, troubleshoot issues, answer questions, share successes, receive updates, and network with professional peers. (Note: Snacks not provided.)

First Wednesday of each month, Noon - 1:00 p.m.

  • February 3, 2021
  • March 3, 2021
  • April 7, 2021
  • May 5, 2021

Registration Link

Password: TODHH2020


October 2020 through June 2021

Are you serving D/HH students on a cluster campus or through itinerant services? This online professional learning community will provide an opportunity to network with professional peers from across the state. Participants will have access to discussion boards, helpful resources, and tips and tricks to use as an itinerant teacher.

Registration Link

Password: TODHH2020


Itinerant teachers from all over Texas meet online several times each semester to discuss topics, troubleshoot issues, answer questions, share successes, and receive updates. To participate in these meetings, please register using the links below. For more information, contact Anne Darr. Click on the links below to register.

2020-2021 Dates for Itinerant Zoom Meetings:


The key components of an appropriate and effective Individualized Educational Program (IEP) are the integration of language and communication impact statements into the academic standards and the instructional delivery system. Each component is vital to the IEP process:

  • presenting a clear picture of the student's fluency in language compared to his or her peers,
  • the mode of communication used by the student both at home and school,
  • the optimal instructional language system, and
  • the optimal social language system.

A team of parents and professionals worked collaboratively to develop the “Language and Communication-Focused IEPs for Learners who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Discussion Guide.” This guide will assist IEP teams with developing a plan that fits the needs of their individual learner. The guide includes a list of guiding questions and evidence-based resources to meet the legal mandates of IDEA, ADA/504 and Title II.

The IEP Mini-Lessons are intended to prepare educators and school administrators on how to use the IEP Discussion Guide in the best way possible. Each mini-lesson covers a chapter in the IEP Discussion Guide.

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DHHS Certificate of Deafness for Tuition Waiver Program

Updates from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Office of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services (DHHS) regarding the Certificate of Deafness for Tuition Waiver:

  1. The processing time for CODTW applications is now 30 days (previously 14 business days.) Students are encouraged to submit applications sooner rather than later.
  2. DHHS has a NEW email address for tuition waivers: dhhs.tuitionwaivers@hhsc.state.tx.us. This email address can be used to submit a waiver application, ask questions about the program, check on the status of a submitted waiver, and request copies. (There was a typo in the November Engage newsletter. THIS is the correct email address.)
  3. For more information, please refer to the Texas HHSC Tuition Waiver website.

National Technical Institute for the Deaf: Virtual Science Fair for Students who are D/HH

RIT/NTID is proud to present a new series of virtual events for middle school deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The Virtual Science Fair is a competition that will test your scientific knowledge, creativity, and hands-on skills in a variety of topics. Are you a deaf or hard-of-hearing student interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)? Do you like getting creative, trying out new things, and learning how to conduct your own experiments? If so, these events are perfect for you!

Competitions in January and March 2021

Additional Information and Registration Links

Texas Hands & Voices: Guide By Your Side

Texas Guide By Your Side (GBYS) is a family support program that embodies the mission of Hands & Voices, which is to provide support in an unbiased manner to parents/guardians with children who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing from birth-21.

Guide By Your Side (GBYS) does this through specially trained parents of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. These parents work as “Guides” directly with families who have just learned of their child’s hearing condition, or who have older children and are in need of the unique support that comes from someone else who has walked this same path and can share his or her direct experiences and wisdom. GBYS programs can also include an option for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Guides (D/HH Guides) who are deaf or hard-of-hearing adults and specially trained to provide support to families.

  • Enrolling in the Guide By Your Side program is easy, confidential, and free of charge!
  • Parents and family members can request services in English or Spanish.
  • With faxed consent, professionals can also request services for staff or families they serve.
Enroll in English
Enroll in Español

2020-2021 Lunch and Learn Webinars

Below are FREE webinar events, hosted by Texas Hands and Voices Guide by Your Side, for families with children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing and the professionals who serve them.

March 9, 2021 @ 12:00 p.m. CST

Early Childhood Intervention Services: We're Here for You! How ECI Supports Families, Infants, and Toddlers

Presented by Tammy Miller and Mari Hubig

May 11, 2021 @ 12:00 p.m. CST

ODHHS Services: Services Available to Families from the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Presented by Olivia Rains and Sam Harris

July 20, 2021 @ 12:00 p.m. CST

TXHV Programs and Services: How Can We Help You?

Explore Texas Hands & Voices Programming and Services

Presented by Michaela Hamaker, Teresa Banda, and Sarah Milem

Registration Link

Printable Flyer in English

Printable Flyer in Spanish

P.A.U.S.E. Retreat: Parents Advocating, Understanding, and Supporting Each Other

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Family Weekend Retreat 2021

FWR Flyer in English

FWR Flyer in Spanish

For more information:


512-743-7972 (info in Espanol)



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If ever there were a time to be a member of the TxSSN Community of Practice, THIS IS IT!

  • Do you serve infants, toddlers, and/or students who are deaf/hard of hearing?
  • Do you ever wish it were easier to connect with others in your field?
  • Do you learn best in a formal setting, or do you prefer to learn in a comfortable setting of your choice?
  • Are you looking for guidance documents, rules and regulations, and best-practice articles?
  • Are you willing to share lesson plans, mileage forms, and other resources with other deaf educators?
  • Do you prefer to learn and network while in your pajamas?

If you answered "YES!" to any of the questions above,

the TxSSN Community of Practice is for YOU.


Information about the TxSSN Community of Practice

Have you joined these Facebook groups?

Have you subscribed to this newsletter?

SUBSCRIBE to this newsletter by clicking on the orange "Follow Anne Darr" button and entering your name and work/personal email address(es).

Have you forwarded this newsletter to a professional peer, a parent, or someone else who might be interested?

FORWARD this newsletter to those you know who would also like to be "in the know" -- teachers, parents, administrators, interpreters, paraprofessionals, students, etc. All are welcome!


Has your D/HH teaching certificate expired?

Qualified, certified Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing are needed throughout Texas. If you were once certified as a TODHH but your certification has expired, Anne Darr can help.

Are you interested in part-time or contract work in Deaf Education?

The need exists! Please complete this brief Google Form if you'd like to be contacted about future part-time or contract opportunities for teachers, interpreters, audiologists, and more. Do you have questions or need additional information? Contact Anne Darr.


What's NEWs with you?

Do you have good news to share? Upcoming events to promote? Information to disseminate? Please let Anne Darr know. Email text and photos to Anne Darr. Remember, parent consent is required to share photos and/or names of students.

Does this newsletter meet your needs?

Is this newsletter helpful to you? Is there additional information that you would like included in Engage? Please share your thoughts, ideas, and feedback with Anne Darr. Seriously -- your input is appreciated!

ESC Region 11 Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Services

Anne Darr, ESC Region 11 Consultant, D/HH Services



Susie Tiggs, Statewide Lead, D/HH Services



Twyla Loftin, Educational Consultant, D/HH Services



Danielle Battle, Early Intervention Sensory Impairment Specialist



Hillary Keys, Consultant for DeafBlind Services



Education Service Center Region 11

1451 South Cherry Lane

White Settlement, TX 76108


ESC Region 11 Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Services:


Statewide Outreach Center @ TSD (formerly the Crossroads Website):


LB 01.28.21