Graduate project

BOCES and the education of deaf children in New York State

In the State of New York, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) organizations have been responsible for educating significant numbers of hearing impaired children. However, information relating to the nature of these services, the priorities involved in establishing them and the guidelines used in implementing them are not available. For this reason, the present study was undertaken. A two page (double-sided) questionnaire was sent to the Directors of Special Education at forty-four (44) BOCES throughout New York State in order to fulfill the two general purposes of this study: 1) Compilation of a descriptive profile of BOCES services for the hearing impaired in New York State, and 2) Evaluation of all program components in such services. A response rate of 84% (37 questionnaires) provided the foundation for extensive analysis of the data requested and obtained. Sixty-two percent (62%) of the BOCES who responded to the questionnaire (23 BOCES) indicated that their organization served hearing impaired children. Almost 900 hearing impaired children are educated through BOCES agencies in New York State. The growth of these programs has consistently grown since 1954 while the breadth of services ranges from self-contained classes to full integration and resource room activities. : The top priorities of BOCES Administrators were compared and contrasted with the CEASD standards adopted in 1973. Although some disparities were evident primarily in the areas of supportive staff and specialized resources, both Administrative bodies revealed a high degree of similarity in the importance attached to meeting the needs of the individual child and the employment of certified teachers of the deaf. Future studies of this kind will assist BOCES Administrators in the identification of program strengths and weaknesses in order to better serve the needs of hearing impaired children in New York State.