Rep. Noreen Kokoruda (Madison & North Guilford), a member of the legislature’s Education Committee announced that a bill to improve educational communication between parents and teachers and the establishment of a “Deaf Child Bill of Rights” in schools has passed the committee with her support.
“If our state’s school system cannot provide adequate support to children with disabilities, then our system is failing,” said Rep. Kokoruda whose own grandchild copes with autism each an every day.
“I am delighted we were able to add a “Deaf Child Bill of Rights” to this proposed legislation and it is my sincere hope that while we tackle the many areas of education reform, that we stay focused on assisting the students who need it most,” said Rep. Kokoruda.
HB-535,3 An Act Concerning Individualized Education Programs and Other Issues Relating to Special Education, works to improve the dissemination and communication of information regarding individualized education programs to parents and guardians and to improve the quality of education for teachers in the implementation of individualized education programs.
Rep. Kokoruda also pointed out how this bill requires professional development for certified employees with an endorsement in special education. This requirement includes a minimum of 10 hours of training in the implementation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and communication of IEP procedures to parents.
“Going through the PPT meetings with my grandson, I have been able to witness the success of Madison’s programs, and it is my strong belief that every child in Connecticutdeserves access to significant support no matter where they live,” said Rep. Kokoruda.
School Boards are now required to inform parents and guardians of relevant information and resources relating to IEPs created by State Department of Education. In addition, upon the request of parents, guardians, pupils, or surrogate parents, boards of education must provide the results of the assessments and evaluations used in the determination of eligibility for special education for the child at least 3 school days before the referral planning and placement team meeting which the results and evaluation will be discussed.
“The most important aspect of the ‘Deaf Child Bill of Rights’ is the requirement that the Individualized Education Program for deaf or hearing impaired children must include a language and communication plan developed by the planning and placement team for the child,” said Rep. Kokoruda. These plans will address several areas, including, but not limited to: the primary language or mode of communication chosen for the child, educational options available, assistive devices and services for the child, and communication and physical environment accommodations for the child.