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 November 29, 2011 Minutes 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Chicago Location: Thompson Center, Room 2-025

Springfield Location: Capitol City Career Center, 130 W. Mason Street


  • Roll Call
  • Documents will be available in Braille at future meetings
  • Review of October meeting's minutes

Members present in Chicago

Ray Campbell
Denise Avant
Becki Streit
Michelle Clyne (on behalf of Peggy Whitlow)

Members present in Springfield

Ryan Croke
Julie Smith
Jessica Bruskin
Sarah Myerscough-Mueller
Elizabeth Gastelum
Janet Lambert
Angela Botz
Marcia Breese
Marybeth Lauderdale
Jane Breen
John Miller
Dan Thompson
Randy Shearburn
Mike Dillion

Members present on the phone

Senator Sam McCann
Howard Thompson
Janice Thompson
John Little
Joe Linear
Tomi Minner
Tim Imler
Nicole Wills
Cynthia Riseman
Marjorie Olson
Kris Smith
Shelle Hamer
Patti Gregory-Chang

Subgroup Updates

  1. Family Support
    • Subgroup met on Wednesday, November 23rd to discuss questions
    • There is no state program that tracks blind and/or deaf students from birth - 21 years
    • Multiple agencies are involved with providing access to services or information on services, however, there is no coordination
    • What are other states doing to track students and reach out to families? Does Illinois want to follow the lead? Which agencies should be responsible? What resources are needed? Is a separate program needed?
    • A deaf catalogue is available in multiple locations (e.g. ISBE, DHHS, Choices for Parents)
    • What about catalogues for the blind? Gail Olsen has been invited to the subgroup
    • Directories become outdated quickly
    • Texas registry: information regarding students (birth - 22) is collected via surveys completed by professionals
      • Goals:

        o   Generate federal funding

        o   Qualify students for textbooks

        o   Qualifies students for state funding

        o   Facilitates the planning of local, regional and state programming

      • IL information is not online
      • IL information does not include demographics
      • Materials Center does not share information with ISD and ISVI
    • Shelle Hamer offered to join the subgroup to provide information about the IL Materials Center
    • Goals of subgroup should be: (1) recommend one entity or location to serve as a clearinghouse for all information regarding services/supports available to bind and/or deaf students; (2) recommend best way to track students and/or parents
    • ISBE collects special education information and can identify districts with blind and/or deaf students
    • Should information be sent directly to parents (instead of through school)?
    • Is the registry available online? What about privacy issues?
    • Is the registry available online? What about privacy issues?
    • How can we encourage state agencies to share information with one another and with the public to help increase early detection
    • We need to identify the DPH statutes that prohibit the sharing of information
  2. Educational Outcomes/Achievements
    • Subgroup met Monday, November 21st, to discuss questions
    • Outcomes are based on curriculum-based measurements
    • Hearing/Vision Connections: Independent statewide program working with blind and/or deaf babies; however, program is short-staffed
      • 30 kids at ISD/ISVI
    • Most public schools do not have early intervention (EI) programs because of a lack of funding and lack of linkage to state services
    • Most students are not identified until the ages of 3-5 years
    • DHS' EI program is a model for other states
    • Family and professionals meet to set goals for EI
    • There is no sign language test available; the best measure of achievement depends on the language used by the student
    • Some schools cannot afford certain tests
    • It is more expensive to be blind than deaf
    • There is a perception ISD and ISVI follow the failure model
      • Most students have academic problems
      • Students may have non-intact families or have failed in public schools
      • Other students go to ISD or ISVI for social reasons
    • ISD and ISVI rely on research from Gallaudet University
    • Subgroup will continue to look at attendance and college/matriculation data - ISD does this 1 year out, ISVI has not done it in a few years
    • Parents are faced with different choices or opportunities today vs. 40 years ago
    • What services or resources are available at Chicago Lighthouse and Helen Keller?
    • Illinois Alliance has information
    • IL Advisory for Services for the Blind/Deaf is another good resource
    • Prioerity for Urgency of Needs for Services (PUNS) list: use for the reporting of individuals after 22; Kris Smith will look into this option
  3. Governance
    • Subgroup met Monday, November 28th, to discuss questions
    • 4 documents were discussed
      • Comparison of other state models (e.g. MD, FL, TX and AZ)
      • Document details hiring practices, autonomy, stakeholders
    • There is no one model that would best fit IL
    • We need to figure out own approach
    • What rules, laws and policies need to change to transform governance?
    • Learn best practices from other states that have closed or merged schools
    • OR and IA have closed blind schools
    • NC is proposing merging schools
  4. Budget
  • Subgroup met Monday, November 21
  • DHS and ISBE will prepare document detailing levels of funding
  • Gathering data on cost of private instruction
  • Marybeth Lauderdale gathering data on ISD/ISVI budget; instructional vs. non-instructional
    • $60,100 ISD student cost per capita
    • $74,800 ISVI student cost per capita (fewer students)
  • Kris Smith is pulling the funding for EI services
  • State programs: Philip Rock costs $3.5M within ISBE's budget
  • Kris Smith pulling DRS transition budget
  • How would closing schools impact the budgets of the home districts?
    • 103 different school districts, 78 of which have 1 deaf student; cost to educate student in home district would be between $30,000 - $90,000
    • 56 different school districts; 47 of which have 1 blind student; cost would be similar ($30,000 - $90,000)
  • How can we make sure the money follows the student?

Other Business/Future Meeting Schedule

To be scheduled after the New Year