Expanded Core Curriculum
for Students


By Frank Nesbit, Ed.D., Ed: K-12 Formal Complaints Coordinator, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program Consultant, Special Education Services, Georgia Department of Education, GA Hands & Voices Board of Directors

The concept of what has become the Expanded Core Curriculum for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (ECC-DHH) had its beginning in documents for students with visual impairments and The National Agenda: Moving Forward on Achieving Educational Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students. The National Agenda brought forward goals for the nation to improve quality of educational services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The concept of an expanded core curriculum for students who are deaf or hard of hearingis unique to the needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  It addresses educational needs that are above and beyond the general curriculum, which is known in Georgia as Georgia’s Performance Standards.  All students are required to be exposed to these standards, but some students need to develop specialized skills to access these standards. This requires what is known is known as “specialized instruction.” 

In 2007, the Iowa Department of Education formed a workgroup to create The Expanded Core Curriculum for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  This document that defines specialized instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing was finalized in August 2010 and is available at: https://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Pages/Deaf-and-Hard-of-Hearing.aspx

Goal sequences that may be appropriate and necessary for students but are not part of the state standards include:

  • Audiology
  • Career Education
  • Communication
  • Family Education
  • Functional Skills for Educational Success
  • Self-Determination and Advocacy
  • Social-Emotional Skills
  • Technology

If you have any questions about these resources, please feel free to contact Dr. Frank Nesbit at the Georgia Department of Education at 404-844-8741 or fnesbit@doe.k12.ga.us

Dr. Frank Nesbit is the Georgia Department of Education’s consultant for programs for students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He has worked with deaf students in schools since 1987, with experience that includes employment at Gallaudet University, Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, and as a teacher and administrator within local school systems.  He holds professional certification as a Teacher of the Deaf, as an Educational Interpreter, and as a Director of Special Education with a Master’s degree in Deaf Education and a Doctorate in Management of Programs for Children and Youth.  Dr. Nesbit is an adjunct instructor for the Interpreter Training Program at Troy University, a freelance interpreter, and also serves on the Georgia Hands & Voices Board of Directors.

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