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The Collaborative Plan


The purpose of the Collaborative Plan is to improve educational outcomes so that each student, upon graduation, is prepared to enter the adult workforce or continue his/her education and be a productive member of the community. Stakeholders of the Collaborative Plan include:

Plan Documents:

Work Groups:

The Collaborative Plan work groups have been meeting regularly since the start of the 2014-15 academic year. The work groups are:

  • Birth - Age 5
  • Kindergarten - Grade 5
  • Grades 6 - 8
  • Secondary/Transition

Birth - Age 5 

The Birth - Age 5 work group has committed to developing a Portfolio of Resources for Early Interventionist who serve families of students who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. Kristi Townshend and Cassandra Haga are the leads on this project with an advisory team of Beth Benedict (Gallaudet University), Kathy Anderson (Low Incidence Project- MDE) and Anna Paulson (Commission for Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans). The Portfolio of Resources was completed and presented to both professionals and parents at the Collaborative Experience Symposium April 2015. Since that time, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention teams have been using the resources to best serve families.

The JCIH (2013) Recommendations were used to create a systems-wide tool to ensure that Minnesota EHDI service providers are making progress toward the recommendations. Nicole Brown (MDH) and Candace Lindow-Davies shared this tool at the National EHDI conference- 2015. Current Collaborative Plan work groups have reviewed the assessment categories and have developed goals (2015-16) to include priorities from this tool.

Kindergarten - Grade 5 and Grades 6 - 8 

The two School Age work groups (Kindergarten - Grade 5 and Grades 6 - 8) are also re-aligning their Collaborative Plan goals to meet the National Agenda Priorities and the Minnesota State Performance Plan indicators to ensure students who are deaf/deafblind/hard of hearing are accessing instruction and progressing on the state standards for instruction. Cheryl Johnson (University of Colorado) has re-joined the team to share the progress from projects throughout the United States. In addition, these two groups are spearheading a pilot project using Progress Monitoring (AVE-D/HH) to analyze weekly academic progress, NWEA: MAP scores and MCA score correlations for students who are deaf/hard of hearing. Results from this pilot project will be published fall 2015.

Finally, the two school age groups have developed a Discussion Guide on developing a Language and Communication Focused IEP (PDF). The Discussion Guide focuses on access to communication for students who are deaf/hard of hearing (Special Factor #4.). The goal of this project is to ensure that all students who are deaf/deafblind/hard of hearing have equal access to instruction and to peer groups as their typically hearing peers. 


The Secondary/Transition group has completed the alignment of the Collaborative Plan goals to the current PEPNET national goals for the state of Minnesota. The completed Transition Toolkit and Webinar series (external link) is available for the public. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for those interested.

Collaborative Experience  

As a result of a state-wide survey of professional and parent needs, a symposium for professional development and stakeholder collaborative activities was identified as a top priority. The Collaborative Experience for all service providers of students who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing will take place on March 31-April 2, 2016.

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