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Minnesota's Collaborative Plan for the Next Five Years

Working together for better education and career outcomes for our students

3/5/2019 9:51:47 AM

ASL version

If you are DeafBlind or prefer to watch the video in a slow-paced, high contrast format, watch the DeafBlind friendly ASL version instead.

English version

The Collaborative is a network of agencies and organizations who work together to create positive, systematic changes in order to achieve better education and career outcomes for students who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing. Collaborative Plan stakeholders recently wrapped up a 10-year span of work focused on specified goals. Key achievements included:

  • Reviewed resources that families receive from different sources. Based on the Birth to 5 workgroup recommendations, and approved by the Minnesota Department of Health and the EHDI advisory committee, a binder of current, unbiased, and research-based resources is mailed to families after a child is identified as deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing. The book of resources is available in both hard copy format and online in an e-reader format. (Birth to Age 5 work group)
  • Published the “Developing a Language and Communication Focused IEP: A Discussion Guide,” designed to help families get the best possible Individual Education Program (IEP) for their children. Two supporting materials were developed; mini-lessons for teachers, for which they can earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and webinars to help families and school professionals understand how to use the guide the best way possible. (School Age work groups)
  • Released a Guide to Adult Services for transition-age students and their families to use as they prepare for life after they graduate from high school. (Secondary/Transition work group)

How we got here

In the summer of 2018, MNCDHH (Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, Deafblind & Hard of Hearing) contracted with Wilder Research to review the work of the last 10 years along with several data sources. These sources (including the Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System, the EHDI annual report, child counts and outcomes, and others) provided rich information about the children in Minnesota who are D/DB/HH.

Wilder also conducted a series of facilitated sessions with each Collaborative work group (birth to age 5; a combined group with kindergarten to 4th grade and 5th to 8th grade work group members; and the transition group of 9th grade through age 21) and interviews with professionals in fields working with and serving the D/DB/HH community and parents of children who are D/DB/HH. The full list of Collaborative Plan stakeholders can be found at

Setting future priorities

These engagement activities helped Wilder and the Collaborative to develop a set of proposed strategic areas based on voices from work groups and interviews, as well as a scan of existing supports. At a summit hosted by MNCDHH in October, work groups came together to review these study results and brainstorm strategic priorities and action items for the next 5-year plan.

Several strategic issues rose to the top at the summit:

  • Increase consistency and organization of resources to ensure all children and families have access.
  • Collaborate and network across stakeholder groups to ensure programs and services are supporting (and not duplicating) each other’s work.
  • Promote mental health and using a “whole child” approach to help children develop a strong identity and ability to self-advocate.
  • Assess and address licensure and qualifications for teachers and interpreters to ensure quality and to improve shortages.

Next, MNCDHH and the Collaborative work groups will develop action plans to address these strategic issues through 2023, with efforts to streamline and align strategies across the work groups as appropriate. The 50 Collaborative Plan stakeholders are excited to continue our mission to improving education and employment outcomes for children who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing and their families.

Read the plan here (PDF)!


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