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IEP Discussion Guide: Introduction Transcript

[Opening slide with the words, "This webinar series is provided by the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans and by the Minnesota Department of Education.]

[Title slide: "Introduction Presenter: Adan Burke, parent of a second-grade student who is Deaf."]

[A man appears (Adan Burke). He is standing on one side of the screen and begins to sign. To his side is the following text, "Introduction. Presenter: Adan Burke, parent of a second-grade student who is Deaf."]

Hello! My name is Adan Burke. I am Deaf and I have a Deaf daughter who attends second grade. She uses sign language and works with an interpreter. She also uses a cochlear implant. I hope this guide helps you to better understand the IEP process. This document was copyrighted in January 2016 by the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MNCDHH). It was also reviewed by the Minnesota Department of Education. This guide was produced to help parents, teachers, administrators, and students, all those who make up the IEP team, to understand the importance of discussions that focus on the unique communication needs of deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind learners in kindergarten through 12th grade. 

[The text next to Adan changes to: "Discussion Guide Contributors * Kelly Anderson - Metro Deaf School * Melissa Buck - Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative * Deanne Curran - Pacer Center * Mandy Fredrickson - Metro Deaf School * Carla Larson - Duluth Public Schools * Emily Manson - St. Paul Public Schools * Ann Mayes - ISD 917 * Nanette McDevitt – Psychologist - Greater Minnesota Launch Pad * Susan Meredith – Minneapolis Public Schools * Jody Olson -  Minnesota State Academies * Mark Schwartz -  Minnesota State Academies * Susan Rose - University of Minnesota * Valerie Shirley - ISD 196 * Jody Waldo - ISD 916]

Adan continues: A special thank you to the authors of the Discussion Guide. (Adan points to his side where the list of names are displayed. The names fade away and Adan resumes.) The IEP is a legal document that should be used to develop special education programs for all children who have disabilities. With deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind children, IEP teams must consider how their specific access and communication needs in many situations are different than children who can hear. 

[In the space next to Adan, the following text appears along with a QR code, "Language and Communication-Focused IEPs for Learners who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Discussion Guide tinyurl.com/MN-IEP-guide"]

Adan continues: Please download a copy of the Discussion Guide from this URL or use your phone to scan this QR Code. 

[The text next to Adan changes to, "Students who are deaf or hard of hearing have different challenges, and it is important that teams carefully consider how access and acquisition of language and communication in multiple settings impacts them."]

Adan continues: This series includes 9 clips. Each video is 5-8 minutes long. The clips break up the IEP document and explain how to describe deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind needs, whether in spoken language, sign language, or cued speech. 

[The text next to Adan is replaced with, "Language and communication needs for deaf and hard of hearing students should be embedded throughout the IEP document."]

Adan continues: Addressing language access should happen throughout the IEP, not just in the Communication section, but all throughout the plan. 

[The text next to Adan is replaced with, "Four mock IEP team meetings are included in this webinar series." There are also 2 pictures. One picture shows a group of people working together at a table. The other shows several hands holding pens over a document.]

Adan continues: In addition, this series includes four mock IEP meetings that are 8-10 minutes long. These situations show how to use the guide's prompts and resources. 

[The contents next to Adan is replaced with the following text, "Discussion prompts: * Impact on language and communication * Language during instruction and at home * Range of communication needs * Impact for those with additional disabilities * Transition needs." There is also a graphic indicating two silhouettes in conversation.]

Adan continues: The Discussion Guide provides a list of prompts throughout the document. These prompts are to help people think about: how hearing loss affects language, communication access and acquisition, what language is being used for at home and at school, the range of needs for deaf and hard of hearing students with different disabilities, and transition needs that teams need to plan for. 

[The content next to Adan is replaced with the following text, "Primary Goal of the Discussion Guide - Help IEP Teams Understand: * Compromised access to language, communication and instruction are unique for deaf and hard of hearing learners * Language access impacts students both in and out of the school setting."]

Adan continues: One of the goals for this project is to help people understand specific challenges for students who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing that are different from their peers who can hear, such as those with learning disabilities. Hopefully, these discussion prompts will help people to understand and plan for those challenges of students who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind. 

[The content next to Adan is replaced with the following text, "Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004. When parents and school personnel are making educational plans for students with hearing loss, they should consider the individual language and communication needs." There is also a picture of a person (head is out of frame) wearing a shirt with the slogan, "I am the 'I' in IEP."]

Adan continues:  The Discussion Guide is based on information from Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004. The law says that IEP team members should consider individual language and communication needs for students who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing. Each student is unique. 

[The content next to Adan is replaced with the following text, "Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II: Addresses Communication Access." There is also a picture that shows 3 symbols. They are the symbols for "hearing loops" "open captions" and "sign language interpreter".]

Adan continues: The Guide also includes information from the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II. The law also addresses communication access. 

[The content next to Adan changed to show the screenshot of a page within the Discussion Guide, which is a checklist to indicate the students' language in the home and language of instruction school. Above the screenshot is the following text, "Minnesota Language and Communication Checklist." Below the screenshot is the following text, "See page 6 of the Discussion Guide for the complete checklist."]

Adan continues: The developers of the guide also compiled the Minnesota Language and Communication Checklist. This helps team members to identify how the student communicates at home and at school and how that communication may be different. The information from this checklist can help teams decide where the student should be placed in school, or what changes need to be made to improve language and communication development and access. It is recommended that parents and professionals email or talk about what discussion prompts need to be considered before the team gathers. All of the prompts do not need to be used for each meeting. If communication cannot happen before the meeting, then IEP managers may want to email or send home specific discussion points ahead of time and create an agenda that has the most important discussion points highlighted. 

[The content next to Adan changes to the following text, "*These discussion prompts are not exhaustive and may lead to other lines of discussion about individual student needs and goals. * Language and communication focus for the IEP process spans through post-school years because compromised access to language and people throughout the waking day."]

Adan continues: The discussion prompts may encourage other ideas and discussions about individual student needs and goals. IEP teams should feel free to add other ideas for specific situations. It is very important that the IEP process focuses on language and communication development and access from early elementary to post-school years when developing plans for students who are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing because these students frequently have compromised access in a wide variety of situations, and not just in the classroom. At the end of the guide, there are examples of present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, also abbreviated, PLAAFP. These sample goals and objectives will help teams to create IEPs that focus on language and communication, not just on the communication page, but in all areas because students need access on the playground, during science labs, in small groups, and on the work site, classroom discussions... Language is everywhere!  Students who may appear to have no academic issues may still be impacted by their hearing loss in other parts of their lives. Student needs also change as it gets closer to graduation so IEPs need to adjust so students are prepared for transitions to post-school life. 

[Video fades to the original slide with the words, "This webinar series is provided by The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans and by the Minnesota Department of Education."]

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