Criterion 6 for ORS: High hearing and vision needs

Learn about ORS Criterion 6 for students with severe hearing or vision 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 and whānau applying 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.

There are 2 parts to Criterion 6:

  • students that meet Criterion 6.1 have severe or profound hearing impairment
  • students that meet Criterion 6.2 have severe vision impairment.

These students need specialist teacher contact time of at least half a day per week.

ORS Criterion 6.1: Hearing

Students have a severe or profound hearing impairment and need regular input from a teacher with specialist skills in deaf education to access the curriculum.

Students who meet this criterion:

  • have a severe (71-90 decibels) or profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, and
  • use hearing aids and/or a cochlear implant full time and usually use a remote microphone system (RM system), and
  • use spoken language as their primary means of communication and may use sign language and gestures, and
  • require frequent oral interpreting of information in learning settings and need pre- and post-teaching of concepts.

Other students may meet this criterion and be included in the scheme because they have a sensorineural hearing loss in both ears in the moderate-severe range with:

  • a late diagnosis and/or
  • poor management of hearing loss in their early childhood education and school years.

Example of Criterion 6.1: Helen

At 4 years 10 months, Helen meets Criterion 6.1. Helen has a severe sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and uses her hearing aids full time. When she starts school, she'll have an RM system.

Helen uses 3 to 4-word phrases only intelligible to people who know her well. She also uses key signs. She frequently needs instructions re-phrased, although she understands better at a face-to-face level.

A resource teacher of the Deaf has been teaching Helen some vocabulary and concepts. Helen participates happily at kindergarten but relies on imitating other children.

ORS Criterion 6.2: Vision

Students have severe vision impairment and need regular input from a teacher with specialist skills in vision education to access the curriculum.

Students who meet this criterion may:

  • have low vision in the severe range with visual acuity of 6/36 or beyond after best possible correction, or
  • have a loss-restricting field of vision to 15-20 degrees, or
  • be blind but unlikely to learn Braille.

A student who meets the criterion usually needs:

  • specialist teaching of concepts
  • specialist advice to class teachers to improve access to the curriculum
  • a desk copy of any work presented from a distance
  • enlarged print
  • a range of assistive equipment
  • orientation and mobility instruction for independence.

Example of Criterion 6.2: John

At 4 years 11 months, John meets Criterion 6.2. John has severe visual impairment. His visual acuity is 6/36 after best-possible correction and he has restricted vision in his right field of vision. He'll need to have materials presented to him in enlarged print size N24-N32.

Kindergarten teachers are careful to place activities on a table where there's sufficient light and no glare for John. He sits near the front at mat time and the teacher presents materials to his left side. John has difficulty going into unfamiliar environments or when furniture at kindergarten or home is moved.

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 Are for students:
Criteria 2.1 and 2.2 very high hearing needs With hearing loss who are considered to have a very high level of need, requiring more intervention
Criterion 2.3 very high vision impairment With vision impairment who are considered to have a very high level of need, requiring more intervention
Criterion 9.2 Who have moderate or moderate-severe hearing impairment, together with moderate to high learning needs and 1 other area of need
Criterion 9.3  Who have moderate to severe vision impairment, together with delayed cognitive development and 1 other area of need at a moderate to high level

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

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