1209 E Burr Oak Dr, Arlington Heights, IL 


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Welcome to the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Early Childhood at the Riley Elementary School

The NSSEO Program for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing is designed to provide intensive academic, language, listening, and speech instruction that addresses students’ unique educational needs. The program focuses intensely on developing a way each student’s unique voice can be heard. By learning with like peers, students develop essential communication and social skills to become contributing members of society.

Melissa Swanson| mswanson@nsseo.org

Program Facilitator:
Beth Mand | bmand@nsseo.org

Administrative Assistant
Julie Sander | jsander@nsseo.org

Fax Line: 847-463-8121

The Deaf/Hard of Hearing elementary school program is located at Riley School in Arlington Heights District 21 and provides opportunities for students to integrate into co-taught classes. Language instruction is an integral part of the program and specific learning activities are modified to accommodate the needs of each student while addressing the goals in his or her Individual Educational Plan (IEP). The academic program is based on the general education curriculum and assessments are designed to adjust instructional strategies to meet individual student needs. The program focuses on creating opportunities to develop appropriate social skills and peer relationships. Students participate in extracur­ricular activities, field trips, and other school events with an interpreter as needed.

The certified/licensed staff is comprised of highly qualified teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, interpreters, audiologists, ALD technicians, speech-language pathologists, school psychologists, social workers, and physical/occupational therapists. All team members are trained in communication methodologies to support students in their learning environment. The team is knowledgeable and experienced in amplification, cochlear implants, and the impact of a hearing loss on language, speech, and academic development. Highly qualified paraprofessionals and interpreters are an integral part of the program and work closely with the certified/licensed staff in providing assistance to students that support programmatic and individual needs.

  • Access to general education curriculum through individualization and adaptation of core academic programs.
  • Research-based curriculum and instruction in literacy, math, science, and social studies.
  • Intensive communication and language development, including the use of total communication, visual supports, and aural training.
  • Assistive and instructional technology to provide individualized access to learning, promoting greater independence.
  • Positive behavioral supports (PBIS) that foster students’ self-confidence, independence, and positive attitude towards learning.
  • Participation with same-age peers in academic and social settings.
  • Life skills instruction that addresses social, communication, daily living, and leisure/recreational skills.
  • Opportunities for participation in building-wide activities, including field trips and assemblies.
  • Opportunities for involvement in extra-curricular activities.
  • A collaborative partnership between program and family that enhances students’ communication development and success.
  • Audiological support assesses a student’s degree of hearing loss and impact on learning, make recommendations, and provide support.
  • The Assistive Listening Device (ALD) Technician supports staff and students to create an optimum listening environment for students.

Program Supports

  • Audiological services
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Consultation and coaching
  • Experiential learning at Sunrise Lake Outdoor Education Center
  • Instructional technology
  • Sign language classes for families
  • Sign Language Interpreters 
  • Partnerships with special recreation associations
  • Extracurricular activities and athletic teams at Hersey High School
  • Interscholastic programs including the local, regional, and national Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing High School Students and state-wide Deaf Volleyball Tournament.

Proactive Behavioral Supports

NSSEO is committed to providing high-quality care and supports in a respectful, safe environment through the ongoing training of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® (NVCI), developed by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI).  NVCI is embraced worldwide as a highly effective behavior management system and provides a solid foundation to structure prevention and intervention approaches based on a philosophy of providing the best possible Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security (SM) for students and staff.  NSSEO provides annual training using CPI’s enhanced content to staff with ongoing supports from certified trainers to ensure safe and quality care. The strategies provide staff with an effective framework for decision making and problem solving to prevent, de-escalate, and safely respond to behavior.  Please visit CPI’s website for more information:


Upcoming Events

All Buildings Closed

Jul 26, 2024

All Day Event

New Staff Orientation @ SLOEC

Aug 6, 2024

All Day Event

New Staff Orientation @ Programs

Aug 7, 2024

All Day Event

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