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The Heart of Illinois Low Incidence Association (HILIA) was formed to promote, establish and maintain a continuum of comprehensive services for children with low incidence disabilities of hearing impairment and visual impairment.  HILIA exists in collaboration between Bloomington School District #87, Livingston County Special Services Unit, Tri-County Special Education Association, McLean County Unit 5 School District, Illinois State University Laboratory Schools, and the Regional Office of Education.  HILIA serves students with hearing and visual impairments in nearly thirty school districts within DeWitt, Livingston, Logan, and McLean counties.  The unique needs of these students are met through the continuum of services offered in the district’s programs or at the Laboratory Schools.  


HILIA Programming in Home School Districts


Educators with expertise in the areas of hearing, and vision provide guidance/resources for educators working with students with low-incidence disabilities.  Services include (but are not limited to) problem solving, equipment troubleshooting, team meetings, and IEP meetings.  


Educators with expertise in the areas of vision and hearing will also work directly with students to provide specialized instruction.  Instruction includes (but is not limited to) instruction in the areas of access technology, advocacy, and other areas created by the lack of incidental learning that typically occurs through hearing or vision. Frequent communication and collaboration with the classroom teacher, special education teacher, and support staff will occur to ensure the specialized instruction and accommodations are benefiting the student within the classroom.  In addition, HILIA can facilitate access to an educational audiologist and certified orientation mobility specialist.


HILIA Programming in the Laboratory Schools


Thomas Metcalf School (PreK- 8th grade) and University High School make up the Laboratory Schools at Illinois State University.  Students (ages 3-21) with significant hearing and vision needs attend the Laboratory Schools where they are taught by our Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teachers and Teachers of the Visually Impaired.  Programming is available in both inclusive and self-contained settings.  Students enrolled in HILIA programs within the Laboratory Schools also have access to related services provided by an educational audiologist, interpreters, certified orientation mobility specialist, and speech-language pathologist.  A decision must be made by the district IEP team to determine whether educational services will be provided by the HILIA facilitators or at the ISU Laboratory Schools.


For inquiries about HILIA programs and services, please contact Lisa Kendall, HILIA Program Coordinator at [email protected].