Eligibility Determination and Documentation

What's Required

Upon completion of the administration of assessments and other evaluation measures a group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child determines whether the child is a child with a disability and the educational needs of the child 34 CFR 300.306(a)(1).


What We Do

Texas School for the Deaf is considered a "special school" in the state of Texas. Students must meet the following minimum criteria to attend:
  • Has a residence in Texas
  • Is between the ages of 3 and 22 years old
  • Has an updated immunization record
  • Has a documented hearing loss
*Because TSD only serves students who are deaf and hard of hearing, students must have documentation of a hearing loss identified by a physician and have had a complete special education evaluation by a school district or agency.
According to Texas Education Code 30.051(a); TSD is not intended to serve:
*Students whose needs are appropriately addressed in a home or hospital setting or a residential treatment facility.
*Students whose primary, ongoing needs are related to a severe or profound emotional, behavioral, or cognitive deficit.
This means that there must be either a current evaluation stating the child qualifies for special education services, or the child has hearing loss documentation from out of state. 
TSD will do initial evaluations for the following reasons: 
  • The child is being served by our Parent Infant Program an is turning 3 requiring an initial evaluation
  • The child is coming from out of state with evidence of a hearing loss and previous special education services or 504 services and is seeking admission to TSD
Students that do not meet the criteria above will need to be enrolled in their Local Education Agency and request a special education evaluation. Once that evaluation is completed and shows that the student is eligible for admission to Texas School for the Deaf, an admission ARD will be scheduled. 
Initial Evaluations: 

There is a two-part test for determining whether a student is eligible for special education services: (1) a student must have a disability, and (2) as a result of the disability, the student must need special education services to benefit from education. In Texas, an ARD/IEP Committee makes decisions about eligibility. Within 30 calendar days of completing the Full Individual Evaluation (FIE), the ARD/IEP Committee must meet to review the written report and determine whether the student is eligible for special education services. A copy of the evaluation report must be provided to the parent at no cost.

A child must not be determined by the ARD/IEP Committee to be a child with a disability if the determinant factor for such determination is:

  • Lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including in the essential components of reading instruction as defined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (IDEA) which means explicit and systematic instruction in (a) Phonemic awareness, (b) Phonics, (c) Vocabulary development, (d) Reading fluency, including oral reading skills, and (e) Reading comprehension strategies

  • Lack of appropriate instruction in math

  • Limited English proficiency


Not all struggling learners have a disability. In these situations, the campus-based support team may meet and recommend other services or programs in general education to help the student. In the Response to Intervention (RTI) process, the campus-based support team may recommend additional interventions available to non-disabled students.

If the evaluation shows that the student has a disability, the ARD/IEP Committee must then decide whether the student needs special education services to benefit from education. If the student does not have an educational need for special education services, he or she is not eligible for any such services.

If it is determined, through an appropriate evaluation under the full and individual evaluation frameworks, that a child has one of the disabilities but only needs a related service and not special education, the child is not a child with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.