Requirements and Qualifications

  • To become employed as a deaf education professional in Texas, all professionals should have a background in special education or deaf education, sign language proficiency and knowledge of communication tools used in deaf education classrooms. Some careers may require certification. The Deaf Child's Bill of Rights lists further qualifications of deaf educational professionals.

    To Become a Paraprofessional

    Paraprofessionals are individuals who work within a local school, performing instructional duties. They often provide support to students and teachers in various capacities:

    • One-on-one tutoring
    • Classroom management
    • Translation
    • Instructional assistance in computer labs, libraries, or a classroom
    • Parent involvement activities

    In Texas, paraprofessionals are generally known as educational aides but they may hold different titles such as: educational technicians, teacher’s aides, or teacher’s assistants. Paraprofessionals must have at least a high school or GED diploma, and a background in either education or childcare. The Texas Education Agency lists qualifications and certification requirements for educational paraprofessionals.

    To Become a Deaf Education Teacher

    A deaf education teacher has specialized training and experience in instructional strategies, language acquisition and communication approaches. General special education training or experience need to be supplemented with deaf education-specific training and language. Deaf education teachers should also have a Texas Deaf and Hard of Hearing teaching certificate.

    Several deaf education teacher preparation programs are available in Texas. Some may be comprehensive in nature, while others may focus on a specific language development philosophy such as:

    Oral-Aural Programs
    Audiology, aural rehabilitation, and techniques for speech development are major courses of study. Specialized teaching courses may be offered with a focus on supporting literacy development with speech and listening strategies. Teachers graduating from this kind of program are prepared to work in educational settings that utilize the oral, Listening Spoken Languageapproach, with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    Bilingual Programs
    The emphasis of such programs is the practice of American Sign Language (ASL) and English bilingualism. Teaching courses offer strategies for utilizing ASL to support the development of English or vice versa. Teachers in this field become knowledgeable about the visual learning needs of students. These programs also include courses or training on deaf culture. Often, proficiency in American Sign Language is a prerequisite for the program. 

    Other Programs
    Most university teacher preparation programs utilize a comprehensive approach to deaf education training. Courses touch on different forms of communication and language development, instructional strategies, and may include speech pathology or audiology courses. Some programs may offer courses on a specific communication system and/or American Sign Language.

    Find a deaf education teacher training program near you.

    Texas Requirements For Becoming a Deaf Education Teacher

    The Texas Education Agency outlines five requirements for becoming a certified teacher.

      1. Obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
      2. Complete an Educator Preparation Program
      3. Pass certification exams

    Deaf and Hard of Hearing

        And one of the following:

    1. Texas Assessment of Signed Communication (TASC)
    2. TASC-American Sign Language
    3. Submit a state application
    4. Complete fingerprinting

    If you've already completed an educator preparation program outside of Texas, but wish to obtain a Texas teaching certificate, you must apply for certification.

    To Become a Deaf Education Administrator

    Deaf education administrators in Texas often assume administrative roles at a school, program, or an education service center serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Deaf education administrators often have a background in deaf education and have studied in an educational leadership field. 

    Most educational leadership, principal, or superintendent courses or programs are not focused on deaf education settings. It is essential for aspiring deaf education administrators to have background and experience working in deaf education to supplement their educational leadership studies.

    When seeking employment as a principal or superintendent in Texas, certification is required.

    To Become an Educational Interpreter

    Educational interpreters are often utilized in deaf education programs. Interpreting in a deaf education program is very different from interpreting in community or professional settings. There are considerations and responsibilities unique to the educational interpreter as they are also part of the child’s educational program. To learn more about educational interpreters, please visit the interpreting page.