Community members advise on next steps
4/17/2017 3:16:05 PM
Many community members have asked the Commission about LEAD-K.
What is LEAD-K? It is short for Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids. LEAD-K is a national coalition that advocates for states to pass laws that make sure that deaf, deafblind & hard of hearing kids are ready for kindergarten.
On November 29th, the Commission decided to ask community members. Do you think Minnesota needs LEAD-K?
We invited Gloria Nathanson (MADC), Mary Cashman-Bakken (MDE), Tom and Carole Virnig (parents and grandparents of Deaf children and grandchildren), and Susan Lane-Outlaw (MDS).
They all said that it’s great that other states are pursuing LEAD-K. Minnesota is ahead of the game however because we already have the same laws as LEAD-K. Now we should focus on structural improvements to our system.
In 2007, Minnesota passed laws that require:
So the kindergarten-readiness and language acquisition goals are already law.
Gloria, Mary, Tom, Carole, and Susan recommended two ways that we can improve the education system.
What was their recommendation instead?
They recommended that the state develop comprehensive assessment centers in the north, middle and southern parts of the state to standardize assessments and get parents the information and support they need for their children to acquire language.
What’s next? These recommendations will be brought to the board. They will consider the recommendations and decide if they need more study or accept them.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the group and advocates for children. Again, Minnesota already has the key parts of LEAD-K. Leaders are recommending to the Commission board that we focus on structural improvements to our current system.