SB 51 Establishes a language assessment program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing from birth through the age of eight
Sponsor: Walsh
LR Number: 0643S.01I Fiscal Notes
Committee: Seniors, Families and Children
Last Action: 1/10/2017 - Second Read and Referred S Seniors, Families and Children Committee Journal Page: S97
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2017

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Current Bill Summary

SB 51 - This act establishes a language assessment program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing from birth through the age of 8. The program will be coordinated by the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Starting on July 1, 2019, annual language assessments shall be given to children who are under 9 years of age and who are deaf or hard of hearing. The assessments shall be provided either through early intervention services administered by the commission or through the child's school district provided the child is 3 years or older.

An advisory committee on the language assessment program is established under the commission. The advisory committee shall consist of 9 members appointed by the governor and 3 ex officio members. The executive director shall call an organizational meeting of the committee no later than September 1, 2017. At the meeting the members shall elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson from the membership of the committee. A quorum of the committee is 9 members, and all actions of the committee shall be by motion adopted by a majority of those members present when there is a quorum. Any vacancy on the committee shall be filled in accordance with initial appointment procedures.

On or before January 31, 2019, the advisory committee shall develop specific action plans and make recommendations to fully implement the assessment program. In doing so, the committee shall collaborate with certain offices, solicit input from professionals trained in the language development and education of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, review, recommend and monitor the use of existing and available language assessments, identify and recommend qualifications of language professionals and language assessment evaluators, and identify procedures and methods for communicating information on language acquisition, assessment results, milestones, and assessment tools used.

The specific action plans and recommendations developed by the advisory committee shall include certain items set forth in this act, such as language assessments that include data collection and timely tracking of the child's development, language assessments conducted in order to monitor and track language developmental milestones, language assessments administered by individuals who are proficient in ASL and English, use of assessment results for guidance on the language developmental discussions by IEP teams when assessing the child's progress in language development, reporting of assessment results to the parents of the child and the applicable agency, reporting of assessment results on an aggregated basis to the committees on education of the house of representatives and the senate, and reporting of assessment results to the members of the child's IEP team.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Health and Senior Services, and the State School for the Deaf shall enter into interagency agreements with the commission to share statewide aggregate data.

On or before January 31, 2019, and each January thirty-first thereafter, the commission shall publish a report specific to developmental milestones of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The advisory committee shall expire on July 1, 2019.

This act is similar to HB 481 (2017) and HB 1076 (2017).