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For the past 30 years, MNCDHH has worked with parents, professionals, and advocates to develop public policies, programs, and products that have improved outcomes for students who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing. These policy changes have led to increased accountability; increased financial resources; and support for children, parents, and teachers.

Since 2009, we have worked through the Minnesota Collaborative Outcomes Plan for children who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. We work with diverse stakeholders in four age-specific workgroups (Birth-Age 5; Kindergarten-Grade 4; Grade 5 - 8; and Transition Age). A full list of our collaborative stakeholders is available, with information about who is on our Steering Committee and who is in each workgroup. In addition, we host the annual statewide Collaborative Experience conference. The Collaborative Experience is geared towards professionals.

MNCDHH's Strategic Plan Education Goals and Indicators: Improve outcomes for children and youths who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing

Key Indicators: 

  • Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment Test Scores We will compare children and youth who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing over time to determine progress and advancement, as well as, comparing them with overall scores.
  • Progress monitoring scores We will demonstrate one year's academic progress by encouraging participation of teachers to use progress monitoring measures as documentation of appropriate services for individual students.
  • ASL instruction for parents We will compare the needs for ASL language learning opportunities with the numbers of families interested in learning and support districts in setting up classes for families of students who use ASL as their instructional language.
  • Skilled teacher, intervenor, transliterator and ASL interpreter availability We will compare need and supply to identify any shortages and collaborate with partners to increase the number of skilled professionals and offer and support with professional development
  • Uniform standards and tools We will identify where uniform standards related to the education of children and youth who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing exist and where they are needed and develop them.
  • Public policy initiatives We will develop public policy solutions that address institutional barriers in education.

What are the issues?

  • Shortage of interpreters, transliterators, and teachers
  • Decrease in direct instruction by teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Lack of tracking of students with a secondary disability of deaf and hard of hearing or have a 504 Plan
  • Teachers assigned caseloads that exceed recommended guidelines.
  • Lack of uniform standard for communication plans in IEPS/IFSPs for students who are deaf and hard of hearing
  • Lack of captioned videos for deaf and hard of hearing students in flipped classrooms. 
  • Lack of captioned instructions with Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

Visit MNCDHH's extended webpage regarding licensure for teachers of the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing.

Latest education updates

Position Paper: Teachers of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Critical Resource Needed for Legal Compliance
On Behalf of the Board of Directors of the Division for Communicative Disabilities and Deafness Becca Jackson, Ph.D., Anna Paulson, M. Ed.
Originally published for the D/HH Constituency of the Council of Exceptional Children (May 2017). Reprinted with permission.

Captioning and Subtitling Benefit All Students for Increased Literacy
By Ann Mayes, M.A., Teacher of Learners who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Originally published for the D/HH Constituency of the Council of Exceptional Children (April 2018). Reprinted with permission.

IEP Meetings can be Designed to Meet Your Child's Language and Communication Needs
Learn how through a webinar series created by families, teachers and students who are deaf, deafblind & hard of hearing

In the News: Conference about deafness and blindness to continue Friday, Nov. 3
Brainerd Dispatch

Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Collaborative Experience Conference Opens Tomorrow
President Roberta J. Cordano of Gallaudet University Headlines National Roster of Speakers

Collaborative Experience: Registration is Closing Soon
Only 25 spots remain (10 of which are for parents)

VCSL Training at the Collaborative Experience Conference
VCSL = Visual Communication and Sign Language Checklist for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

Plan to Attend the Collaborative Experience Conference?
The Collaborative Experience is an educational conference for professionals who serve students who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing. The 2017 conference schedule includes national and local experts offering interactive sessions on current evidence-based research and strategies. In addition, there will be ample opportunity for networking within individual regional teams and across state teams. Clock hours in the relicensing categories that will be offered include ASL and Deaf Culture courses.

Online Resources for Families with Children Identified as Deaf or Hard of Hearing
A resources binder for families. The Collaborative Plan stakeholders reviewed the information that families receive from different organizations. Based on their recommendations, the MN Dept of Health updated the content. The binder is available online and will be updated each year.

Registration for the 2017 Collaborative Experience Conference is Now Open
Register today! 

Collaborative Experience Conference Committee Announces Keynote Speakers
Conference dates are November 2-4, 2017. Speaker topics include transformative teaching & study on outcomes.

LEAD-K and Minnesota
MNCDHH collected feedback about LEAD-K from community members and asked if MNCDHH should pursue it in Minnesota. This is the feedback we received.

2017 Collaborative Experience Conference
Save the date!

Collaborative Plan Work Group Launches Transition Guide
The Transition Work Group releases a guide to adult services for youth who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing and their families. The Transition Work Group focuses on improving outcomes for youth who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing from 9th grade into early adulthood.

Introducing The Discussion Guide for Language and Communication Focused IEPs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Learners
In 2014, the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MNCDHH) conducted a survey focused on the needs and priorities among Minnesota teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. As a result of the survey, the Collaborative Plan established a priority to provide guidance related to IEP communication plans as a tool to address students’ unique language and communication characteristics and need for specialized instructional plans.

Attention Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Post-Secondary Students in Minnesota
You may be entitled to tuition assistance. Information about Minnesota Statutes 2015 135A.165

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