Criterion 2 for ORS: Very high hearing or vision needs

Learn about ORS Criterion 2. The students that meet this criteria need special assistance to engage in all face-to-face communications. Criteria 2.1 and 2.2 are for students with hearing loss. Criterion 2.3 is for students with visual impairment.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Learning Support Coordinators and SENCOs
  • Learning Support Specialist Staff
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Boards
  • Non-Government Agencies
  • Disability Sector

This guidance provides assistance for schools and parents/caregivers/whānau wishing to apply for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme to support a child with high or very high ongoing needs. To be eligible for ORS funding, a child must meet one or more of the ORS criteria.

Criterion 2.1 and 2.2 for students with hearing loss

Criterion 2.1

Students who meet this criterion almost always have a profound hearing loss in both ears.

They use New Zealand Sign Language (or an equivalent signing system) in all settings: at home, in the community, and at school or at an early childhood education centre.

They need support to assist with communication and access to the curriculum. This support can come from specialist intervention from:

  • advisors on deaf children
  • teachers of the deaf
  • other specialists, and
  • teacher aides.

These students need extensive support from people skilled in using sign language and for additional teaching to understand new language and learning concepts.

These students use signing not just because they may attend school within a signing environment (such as Ko Taku Reo) but because signing is their first language.

A brief profile: At 4 years 10 months, Esther meets criterion 2.1

Esther has a profound hearing loss in both ears and uses New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) almost exclusively for communication at home, kindergarten, and in the community. Since her diagnosis at 18 months old, she's received specialist support from an Advisor on Deaf Children (AODC).

A Resource Teacher of the Deaf visits the kindergarten to work with Esther. They're supported by an Education Support Worker (ESW) who signs to her during all learning activities.

When Esther's playing with her peers she uses gesture to communicate unless the ESW is available to interpret.

Using NZSL, Esther can follow two-part unrelated directions and sometimes asks who, where and what questions. She's very interested in copying over letters and can write her name. She labels nine colours and can give the correct number of objects to five.

Criterion 2.2

Students who rely totally on the help of a trained person for communication following a cochlear implant.

Students who meet this criterion need to learn how to use the sounds they hear, as a result of a cochlear implant. They need an intensive auditory skills programme to develop the listening and speech-production skills they need to access the curriculum.

The specialists involved in this intensive programme may include a trained habilitationist, an Advisor on Deaf Children and a Resource Teacher of the Deaf.

Criterion 2.3

Students who rely totally on Braille for reading and writing.

Students who meet this criteria rely totally on Braille for reading and writing.

A brief profile: At 4 years 10 months, Natalie meets Criterion 2.3

Natalie is blind. When she was two-and-a-half she started pre-Braille sessions with the Resource Teacher Vision to become familiar with Braille and tactile materials. She's now able to recognise most of the Braille alphabet and can write words using her Braille machine. Her new entrant teacher is familiar with the equipment that Natalie uses.

Natalie is assisted by the Resource Teacher Vision and this will continue at school. An Orientation and Mobility Instructor is helping Natalie learn safe travel routes around her new school.

Students may meet other criteria instead

Students with hearing loss or visual impairment may meet other criteria instead. Check to see which you should apply under.

Criterion Applies to students:
Criterion 6.1
With hearing loss who are considered to have a high level of need, requiring less intervention
Criterion 6.2
With vision impairment who have a high level of need, requiring less intervention
Criterion 9.2

Who have moderate or moderate-severe hearing loss, together with high learning needs and 1 other area of need

Criterion 9.3 
Who have moderate to high vision impairment, together with high learning needs and 1 other area of need at a moderate to high level

Apply for ORS

Find out how to Apply for ORS and download our application forms.

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