NAD Urges Attendance at IDEA Public Meetings

NAD Urges Attendance at IDEA Public Meetings

The U.S Department of Education is holding public meetings on the NPRM. Please try to attend one of these meetings if it is in your area, and spread the word to others in our community.

The meetings will be held:

1. June 4, 2007, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Portland–Embassy Suites Hotel Portland Airport (Pine & Spruce Room), 7900 Northeast 82nd Avenue, Portland, OR.

2. June 6, 2007, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Oklahoma City–Metro Technology Centers (Auditorium), 1900 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK

3. June 11, 2007, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Indianapolis–Indiana Government Center South Conference Center (Auditorium), 402 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN.

4. June 14, 2007, 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Washington–Academy for Educational Development, 1825 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC.

Sign language interpreters will be provided. For more information on these meetings please contact Katherine Race, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC, telephone (202) 245-6443.

Talking points based on the NPRM.

1. Introduce yourself and your program or interest in Part C. Name any deafness-related organizations you are a member of. Describe the successes and challenges you have seen in your early intervention program. The Department will benefit from learning more about deaf and hard of hearing children and the best ways to serve them, especially since more deaf and hard of hearing children are being identified early and enrolling in early intervention.

2. Thank the Department for specifically mentioning the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children, especially in relation to: the listing of early intervention services, where sign language, cued language, and oral language are included, and the definition of special educators, where teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children are included.

3. However, note that some clarification is needed in describing how to provide sign language services to children and families. It must be clarified that sign language services are not speech-language pathology services, and speech-language pathologists are not qualified to provide them. Speech-language pathologists have no training or expertise in this area. Sign language services must be provided by teachers of the deaf and/or other qualified personnel with the requisite knowledge and experience.

4. Part C should include “special factors” provisions similar to those in Part B of IDEA that address the language and communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing children as well as specific needs of children in other disability categories.

5. Add any further comments of your own, and thank the Department for the opportunity to comment.

Please let the NAD know about your experiences at these meetings. Thanks for all you do!

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