Last session, legislators approved temporary funding for MDS’ 0-3 program. For the long term, charter school statute needs to be updated to allow families to place children ages 0-3 at Metro Deaf School. (new bill)
Deaf Education Master's Degree Tax Credit
Add deaf education to the list of teacher licensure fields that qualify for a tax credit of up to $2,500 towards a master’s degree.
Support the MSAs in their policy and bonding requests. The governor’s bonding proposal includes funding for the pre-designs of a new MSAD student center and replacement of MSAB’s therapy pool and related renovations, along with $1.227 million for asset preservation.
Oral/Aural Deaf Education License Review
Require the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board to review the oral/aural license to decide whether it should be discontinued or incorporated into existing requirements under Minnesota Rules.
IEP Process Accommodations for Parents
Require districts to establish a process for providing reasonable accommodations for parents to participate in developing their child’s Individualized Education Plan. Led by the Autism Society of Minnesota.
Monitor the ongoing discussion between the Minnesota Judicial Branch and court interpreters on pay rate issues and increased legislative funding. While the Commission is neutral on pay rate issues, we may take a more active role on any quality or communication access issues that arise during this dialogue.
Hearing Aid Affordability
Continue addressing barriers to hearing aid affordability, such as addressing outdated reimbursement policies that are causing clinics to decline patients with certain insurance plans.
Prescription Container Accessible Labels
Ensure that consumers can receive label information via Braille or large print.
Update statute requirements to allow more flexibility for the governor to appoint board members with relevant lived experiences.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division Updates
Support DHHSD in updating statutes to be more culturally/linguistically affirming, along with other technical changes. Led by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The following items are issues that are not likely to be introduced as bills this session but are actively being worked on and/or monitored. If a relevant bill arises during this session, it will be added to the list of bills.
Acoustic Loops and Telecoil Access
Improve tracking of hearing loop locations and reduce barriers to patients receiving education about the telecoil features of their hearing aids.
DeafBlind Quality of Life
Identify funding opportunities for studies and/or services to improve the quality of life for DeafBlind Minnesotans.
Educational Interpreter Database
Secure funding to create a public database listing interpreters who have satisfied Minnesota’s requirements for educational interpreters.
Kindergarten Entry Assessment
Facilitate planning discussions to ensure deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing children are appropriately assessed under the state’s new kindergarten entry assessment statutes.
Strengthen Minnesota’s tracking of language development in young children identified as deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing.
Special Education Task Force
Ensure that the needs of deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing children are represented in a task force proposed by some disability advocates to review the state of special education in Minnesota. The last task force to look at any special education issue was in 2014.