HILIA (Heart of Illinois Low Incidence Association)

Livingston County
Unit 5


The Heart of Illinois Low Incidence Association (HILIA) was formed to promote, establish and maintain a continuum of comprehensive services for children with the low incidence eligibility of Deafness, 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 in over thirty school districts within DeWitt, Livingston, Logan, and McLean counties. These unique assistive technology, hearing, and vision needs of students are met through the continuum of services offered in the home school districts or at Illinois State University Laboratory Schools. A decision is made by the district IEP team (inclusive of HILIA representation) to determine whether HILIA Programming will be provided in the home school district or at the Laboratory Schools.

HILIA Programming in Home School Districts

Consultation Services

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

Direct Services

Educators with expertise in the areas of vision and hearing will work directly with students to provide specialized instruction. Direct instruction includes (but is not limited to) instruction in the areas of advocacy, braille, 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 benefitting the student within the classroom. Direct services will occur bi-weekly or weekly. In addition, HILIA can facilitate access to an educational audiologist and certified orientation mobility specialist.

HILIA Programming in the ISU Laboratory Schools


Thomas Metcalf School and University High School make up the Laboratory Schools at Illinois State University. It is most typical that students (ages 3-21) who are braille readers, use sign language, or need intense services in listening, speech, and language are educated at the Laboratory Schools. These students are taught by our Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teachers or Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments. Programming is available in both inclusive and self-contained settings. Students enrolled in HILIA Programs within the Laboratory Schools have access to related services provided by an educational audiologist, interpreters, certified orientation mobility specialist, and speech-language pathologist.

For HILIA Program questions and ALL new student referrals, contact:
Lisa Kendall, HILIA Program Coordinator
lmkenda@ilstu.edu 309-438-7124