Bill Text: FL S1584 | 2011 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Children

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2011-05-07 - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration [S1584 Detail]

Download: Florida-2011-S1584-Introduced.html
       Florida Senate - 2011                                    SB 1584
       By Senator Sobel
       31-01128-11                                           20111584__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to deaf and hard-of-hearing children;
    3         creating the “Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children’s
    4         Educational Bill of Rights”; providing findings and
    5         purpose; recognizing the unique communication needs of
    6         deaf and hard-of-hearing children and encouraging the
    7         development of a communication-driven and language
    8         driven educational delivery system in the state;
    9         requiring the Department of Education to develop a
   10         communication model to become part of the individual
   11         education plan process for deaf and hard-of-hearing
   12         students; providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. (1) SHORT TITLE.—This act may be cited as the
   17  “Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children’s Educational Bill of
   18  Rights.”
   19         (2) FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.—
   20         (a) The Legislature finds that:
   21         1. Hearing loss affects the most basic human need,
   22  communication. Without quality communication a child is isolated
   23  from other human beings and from the exchange of knowledge
   24  essential for educational growth and, therefore, cannot develop
   25  the skills required to become a productive, capable adult and a
   26  fully participatory member of society.
   27         2. Children with hearing loss have the same innate
   28  capabilities as any other children. They communicate in a wide
   29  variety of manual and spoken modes, languages, and systems. Some
   30  use aural/oral modes of communication, while others use a
   31  combination of aural/oral and manual communication. Many use
   32  American Sign Language, which is a formal language, as well as
   33  the preferred everyday language of the deaf community.
   34         3. It is critical that all citizens in the state work
   35  toward ensuring that:
   36         a. Deaf and hard-of-hearing children, like all children,
   37  have quality, ongoing, and fluid communication, both in and out
   38  of the classroom.
   39         b. Deaf and hard-of-hearing children be placed in the least
   40  restrictive educational environment and receive services based
   41  on their unique communication, language, and educational needs,
   42  consistent with 20 U.S.C. s. 1414(d)(3)(B)(iv) of the
   43  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
   44         c. Deaf and hard-of-hearing children be given an education
   45  in which teachers, related service providers, and assessors
   46  understand the unique nature of deafness, are specifically
   47  trained to work with hard-of-hearing and deaf students, and can
   48  communicate spontaneously and fluidly with these children.
   49         d. Deaf and hard-of-hearing children, like all children,
   50  have the benefit of an education in which there is a sufficient
   51  number of age-appropriate peers and adults with whom they can
   52  interact and communicate in a spontaneous and fluid way.
   53         e. Deaf and hard-of-hearing children receive an education
   54  in which they are exposed to deaf and hard-of-hearing role
   55  models.
   56         f. Deaf and hard-of-hearing children, like all children,
   57  have direct and appropriate access to all components of the
   58  educational process, including recess, lunch, and
   59  extracurricular, social, and athletic activities.
   60         g. Deaf and hard-of-hearing children, like all children, be
   61  provided with programs in which transition planning, as required
   62  under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, focuses
   63  on their unique vocational needs.
   64         h. Families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing
   65  receive accurate, balanced, and complete information regarding
   66  their child’s educational and communication needs and the
   67  available programmatic, placement, and resource options, as well
   68  as access to support services and advocacy resources from public
   69  and private agencies, departments, and all other institutions
   70  and resources knowledgeable about hearing loss and the needs
   71  of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
   72         (b) Given the central importance of communication to all
   73  human beings, the purpose of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
   74  Children’s Educational Bill of Rights is to encourage the
   75  development of a communication-driven and language-driven
   76  educational delivery system in the state for children who are
   77  deaf or hard of hearing.
   80         (a) The Legislature recognizes the unique communication
   81  needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing and encourages
   82  the development of specific recommendations by all state
   83  agencies, institutions, and political subdivisions concerned
   84  with the early intervention, early childhood, and kindergarten
   85  through grade 12 education of students who are deaf or hard of
   86  hearing, including the Department of Education, the Florida
   87  School for the Deaf and the Blind, and the Department of Health,
   88  to ensure that:
   89         1. These children have what every other child takes for
   90  granted, including an educational environment in which their
   91  language and communication needs are fully addressed and
   92  developed and in which they have early, ongoing, and quality
   93  access to planned and incidental communication opportunities.
   94         2. The methods for carrying out the purposes of the Deaf
   95  and Hard-of-Hearing Children’s Educational Bill of Rights are
   96  expeditiously implemented.
   97         (b) Because 20 U.S.C. s. 1414(d)(3)(B)(iv) of the
   98  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires that the
   99  individual education plan team consider the unique communication
  100  needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, the
  101  Department of Education shall develop a model “communication
  102  considerations for students who are deaf or hard of hearing” to
  103  become part of the individual education plan process. The model
  104  shall be disseminated to all school districts with training to
  105  be provided as determined by the department.
  106         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.