MN Collaborative Plan for Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Children (Archived)

According to Minnesota Child Count Data from the 2013/14 Legislative Report (p.10), there are currently 2,464 children receiving special education services in Minnesota public and private schools under the categorical disability of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Over 50% of students reside and attend school in the metropolitan area as compared to the rural regions of the state.

Minnesota Department of Education Legislative Report 2013/2014 [1.34MB]

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Annual Report 2013: The Minnesota Department of Health reveals that, 67,329 children were screened for hearing loss in 2013. Of those infants, 4.4% were referred for further evaluation. A total of 247 children were confirmed with a permanent hearing loss. Out of every 20 children with confirmed hearing loss, 17 families have accepted services from Minnesota Hands and Voices. In addition, families who are interested in learning about American Sign Language and Deaf Culture have the Deaf Mentor program available to them through Lifetracks. The Deaf Mentors are trained through evidence based curriculum to ensure quality services to families. Sixty-six percent of teachers feel that they have adequate training to serve the Birth-Age 5 population (MN Collaborative Survey).

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

The 2013 Minnesota Assessment (MCA) data reported in the 2014 Legislative Report shows students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) remain behind their peers in math and reading.

In math, 38.9% of D/HH students tested proficient or above compared to 60% proficiency for the total student population in the state. In reading, 36.3% of D/HH students were proficient or above in reading compared to 57.6% of the total student population in the state (p. 29).

Key findings from the 2013/14 Legislative Report in the area of Postsecondary and Transition Age Students include:

*53% of students who are deaf/hard of hearing have completed some type of postsecondary education. *37% of those postsecondary students have completed a two-four year degree program. *49% of students have obtained gainful employment.

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

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

Latest News – August 2012

This webpage is currently under construction while it is being updated. For the current progress related to the MN Collaborative Plan, please visit the MN Collaborative Plan Webpage

Latest News – December 2011

To review the MN Collaborative Plan and Implentation Timeline, download the accessible Word file here: MN Collaborative Plan and Implementation Timeline [429.50KB]


An interagency group met from July 27-28, 2011 at the Minnesota Department of Education in Roseville to develop goals, outcomes, measurable indicators, benchmarks, and activities related to deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing education. The group had representation of different modalities, school placements, regions, and roles (parents, teachers, administrators, state agencies, etc.). Dr. Cheryl Johnson, a well-respected consultant in D/HH education, facilitated the retreat. Thanks to the hard work and energy from the participants, the work accomplished during the two days of the retreat will make a lasting and positive difference for kids with hearing loss and their families. Thank you participants! For a list of particants, click here: List of attendees [15.95KB]

Next Steps

Week of August 1st 2011

  • Schedule follow-up meeting
  • Send final changes to Dr. Johnson

Late August/Early September 2011

  • Dr. Johnson sends draft of plan
  • Collaborative members make edits

September/October 2011

  • Collaborative members ask their advisory boards for endorsement of the concept of a statewide plan

End of October/Early November 2011

  • Collaborative members meet for final edits, approval of plan, and development of implementation plan

November/December 2011

  • Collaborative members seek formal approval of plan from advisory groups they represent and report back to MCDHH

January 2012

  • Implementation begins

Planning Committee

The planning team consists of a representative from each of the following agencies: Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans, Minnesota Hands & Voices, Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota Department of Health, and the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Post-Retreat Materials

Participants reported high levels of satisfaction for various aspects of the retreat.
Evaluation Overview [91.69KB]

The U of M website was highlighted at the retreat for offering resources for D/HH teachers related to language, reading, writing, assessment, and progress monitoring. Visit the website here. Additional resources are being compiled at Deaf Education Resources

Pre-Retreat Materials

Retreat Logistics [17.59KB]
Agenda [24.41KB]
Minnesota Crosswalk [30.26KB]
Commitment and Communication Guidelines [35.50KB]
Working Vocabulary [39.50KB]
Summary of National Agenda Goals [24.00KB]
MN State Performance Plan Part B Indicators [16.36KB]
MN State Performance Plan Part C Indicators [15.25KB]

In the Minnesota Crosswalk, there is a reference to the Minnesota EHDI Goals, Indicators, and Benchmarks. You can find that document here

Dr. Johnson referred to education plans that other states developed that were based on the National Agenda for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. To view what other states have done, or are doing, click here

Deaf Education Summit 2010


The Deaf Education Summit was co-sponsored by MCDHH and the Minnesota Department of Education on April 22nd and 23rd, 2010. Minnesota attendees met remotely at the Minnesota Department of Education in Roseville, MN. Thank you for your participation!

The Summit focused on implementing best practices. Panels were representative of a range of methodologies and school placements. Content was not modality specific. See below for details including presenter PowerPoints and Summit takeaways.

Agenda and Readings

Summit Agenda [40.00KB]
Remote site introduction and overview [1.02MB]
National Agenda [948.86KB]
Statement of Principle [344.23KB]
Communication Tips [215.17KB]
National Agenda Overview [239.21KB]

Presentation Information

Presentations can be found on the National Deaf Education Project website

The presentation by Joyce Daugaard regarding Minnesota survey data can be found here:
Thursday - FAEDHH Project Survey PowerPoint (Joyce Daugaard) [133.00KB]

Summit Takeaways

During the Deaf Education Summit, stakeholders decided the priority moving forward would be to develop a usable data-driven statewide deaf and hard of hearing education improvement plan with specific, measurable, and timely outcomes. Stakeholders discussed a variety of goals (see document below for a summary) to potentially be included within the plan and expressed interest in aligning goals with the National Agenda.

MCDHH was designated to lead this initiative and has considered a variety of potential consultants to lead the creation of this plan. We are currently in the planning stages to work through the logistical details of a retreat that would develop a plan with a consultant and stakeholders. More information will be posted as it becomes available. MCDHH will be working with Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Department of Health to make this plan a reality.

SWOT Analysis from Summit (Minnesota Team) [15.19KB]
Summary of all Summit Discussions and Goals [36.50KB]
Summit Overview - Goals and Outcomes [71.50KB]
Summit Participant List [10.02KB]
Summit Participant Evaluation [40.00KB]

Contact Mary Hartnett Mary Hartnett


FAEDHH Survey Results (Focus on Advancement of Education for (students who are) Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

The state of Minnesota recently passed legislation requiring the reporting of data for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. More than 70 teachers/administrators statewide participated in the FAEDHH Project Survey to assist us in identifying a common database that can be used to provide accountability data regarding student performance. We encourage you to view the full survey; two different formats are available below.

FAEDHH Survey Results 2010 - Word Version [71.50KB]

FAEDHH Survey Results 2010 - PDF Version [446.03KB]

Thursday - FAEDHH Project Survey PowerPoint (Joyce Daugaard) [133.00KB]

Minnesota Parent Satisfaction Survey

A survey of 77 parents was conducted by Kathleen A. Peterson at the University of North Dakota in 2009 to review parent satisfaction with services for deaf and hard of hearing students in Minnesota Public Schools.
Parent Satisfaction with Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Minnesota Public Schools - Kathleen A. Peterson [2.93MB]

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