Education Overview

According to Minnesota Child Count Data from the 2012 Legislative Report (“Students who are,” 2012), there are currently 2,480 children receiving special education services in Minnesota public and private schools under the categorical disability of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (p. 11).

According to 2011 Minnesota Assessment (MCA) data reported in the 2012 Legislative Report (“Students who are,” 2012), students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) are far behind their peers in math and reading.

In math, only 33.9% of D/HH students were proficient or above compared to 56% proficiency for the total student population in the state. In reading, 48% of D/HH students were proficient or above in reading compared to 74.1% of the total student population in the state (p. 35).

The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans is working hard to collaboratively address these academic gaps between D/HH students and their peers.

For more information about the Minnesota state data, please read the full Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education Outcomes Report from 2012: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education Outcomes Report for 2012 [1.14MB]

Reference: Minnesota Department of Education, (2012). Students who are deaf or hard of hearing in minnesota (Fiscal Year 2012)

Communication Plans for Students Who Are Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing

In developing an IEP for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, IDEA 2004 300.324 (a)(iv) says that “the IEP Team must consider the communication needs of the child, and in the case of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the child’s language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode;”

Many states have chosen to assist  teams in the discussion of the child’s communication needs by requiring that a communication plan be completed and attached to every IEP/IFSP for students with the categorical disability of Deaf/Hard of Hearing or Deafblind.

Below are links to plans that are currently utilized in other states for this purpose. Please note: Minnesota does not require the completion of a specific communication plan at this time.

IEP Communication Plan from Iowa

IEP Communication Plan from Wisconsin

IEP Communication Plan from Colorado

IFSP Communication Plan

Overview of Education Section

The education section of MCDHH’s website provides information about how MCDHH is working to address the gaps in deaf and hard of hearing education. MCDHH advocates for students who are deaf and hard of hearing through involvement with teacher licensure requirements, student eligibility requirements, early hearing detection and intervention, and other public policy initiatives with parents, teachers, and deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind advocacy organizations. MCDHH empowers individuals and encourages groups with diverse perspectives to collaborate and advocate for the best education system possible in Minnesota.

MCDHH promotes high-quality education for all infants, children, and youth who are deaf and hard of hearing regardless of their communication modality. MCDHH has worked with members of the Minnesota Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Committee to recommend that early intervention professionals providing services to children who are deaf/hard of hearing and their families should:

  • Increase proficiency and sustain a life-long commitment to maintaining instructional language competence in auditory/oral, visual and multimodal communication.

Quick Links

Minnesota D/HH Licensure Website

This site provides comprehensive information about the D/HH teacher license in Minnesota, including historical timeline, current requirements, the recent licensure review process, process to receive a license, university program overview, research links, and frequently asked questions.

One of the major changes in the new requirements is there is no longer language requiring 60 continuing education credits specifically for American Sign Language. Meetings will be held with stakeholders and community members this winter (2013) to review this change.

You can read about the accepted changes in the Report of the Administrative Law Judge

Education Tools & Resources

Find additional links and resources related to deaf and hard of hearing education.

Filing a complaint through Minnesota Department of Education

The special education complaint system is designed to ensure that all students with disabilities are provided a free appropriate public education. The following link will lead you to the Minnesota Department of Education website for additional information.
Special Ed Complaint Forms and Instructions

Questions, Concerns, Posting Requests?

The Education section will be continuously updated and revised. Please contact Mary Hartnett if you have questions, concerns, or posting requests.