Total Communications Program
The mission of the Total Communication Program is to educate Deaf and Hard of Hearing students from preschool to 6th grade in a supportive learning environment that facilitates the acquisition of communication, literacy, and knowledge in the least restrictive environment.
Total Communication (TC) is a philosophy for educating deaf and hard of hearing students. It allows accessibility to language through a variety of modes including but not limited to American Sign Language (ASL), written and spoken English, finger spelling, speechreading, gestures, drawings, and the use of amplification and technology. TC allows the individual student to use the mode of communication that is most appropriate and comfortable in a given situation. It is a philosophy that allows flexibility by providing a variety of communication options, which caters to each student’s individual needs. Our program serves Deaf and Hard of Hearing children from preschool to sixth grade. Each student receives an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that addresses his or her academic, social, emotional, and physical needs. The TC Program uses Fairfax County’s Program of Studies (POS) as a curriculum guide. This program is comprised of Teachers of the Deaf, Instructional Assistants, a Speech and Language Clinician, an Educational Audiologist, a Social Worker, and Sign Language Interpreters. Additional school staff who provide support to the TC program are a school psychologist, an occupational therapist, and an adaptive PE teacher all of whom can sign. Mrs. Tina Tingler, Assistant Principal, is the administrator responsible for the TC program.
Our program serves Deaf and Hard of Hearing children from birth to sixth grade. Our commitment is to provide the students with the greatest opportunity to learn language, which is the key to academic success. Language is acquired through consistent and constant exposure to a variety of modes of communication, as described above. Parent-Infant educational services are provided through the Bright Beginnings for Babies program. At age two, a school-based preschool program is offered. Mantua supports a continuum of placement options that includes self-contained classrooms with participation in selected general education activities, to full inclusion with a sign language interpreter. Integrated services are provided by professionals who use sign language including: teachers of the deaf, instructional assistants, speech/language clinicians, educational audiologists, sign language interpreters, a social worker, a school psychologist, and other related service providers and administrators.
Parents are an essential part of this educational team and their participation is valued. In the Spring, we offer weekly sign language classes to parents and family members and students take part in our weekly After School Program where they receive language enrichment activities, along with a snack and dinner while their parents attend sign class.
Each student receives an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that addresses his or her academic, social, emotional, and physical needs. The TC Program uses Fairfax County’s Program of Studies (POS), as a curriculum guide. In our program there is a real commitment to the use of technology as a teaching tool to increase reading achievement. Teachers build students' background knowledge as they display visual images utilizing classroom computers, laptops, educational software, interactive whiteboards, and multimedia. Students make connections to English print as they view and analyze corresponding visual images. In addition, technology allows for ongoing comparison between English print and American Sign Language (ASL). Our Distance Learning Lab provides opportunities for deaf students to conference with deaf students in other parts of the country and to participate in national and international video conferences.
In conjunction with the general Deaf education TC program, there is a program for Deaf students who have additional disabilities. This program uses a variety of communication techniques and follows a modified or a functional life skills curriculum.
For further information on the Total Communication Program at Mantua , please contact Tina Tingler, Assistant Principal, at 703-645-6300.