Effective July 1, 2012, Section 11 of Public Act (P.A.) 12-173, entitled an Act Concerning Individualized Education Programs and Other Issues Relating to Special Education, requires that the individualized education program (IEP) of any child identified as deaf or hard of hearing must include a language and communication plan (LCP) developed by the child’s planning and placement team (PPT). Any child with an identified hearing loss, regardless of whether deafness or hard of hearing is the primary disability category, must have a LCP which documents the considerations and/or actions discussed and identified by the child’s PPT.
The LCP must address:
- The primary language or mode of communication chosen for the child;
- Opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the primary language or mode of communication for the child;
- Educational options available to the child;
- The qualifications of teachers and other professional personnel administering the child’s LCP, including the teachers’ or professionals’ proficiency in the primary language or other mode of communication for the child;
- The accessibility of academic instruction, school services and extra-curricular activities for the child; and
- Communication and accommodations in the physical environment for the child.
Section 300.324(a)(2)(iv) of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires that the child’s PPT consider the following areas regarding the communication needs of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing:
The child’s language and communication needs;
- Opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode;
- The child’s academic level;
- The child’s full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and mode of communication; and
- Whether the child’s needs a technology device and/or service(s).
Section 11 of P.A. 12-173 requires documentation of the special considerations outlined in the IDEA and P.A. 12-173 through a LCP developed by the child’s PPT and included in the IEP of each child who is deaf or hard of hearing. This requirement is reflected on page 10 of the IEP. The LCP is available on the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) web site at http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/word_docs/deps/special/language_and_communication_plan.doc
The CSDE has made available the LCP since 2009 as a tool recommended for use as a best practice document for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The passage of P.A. 12-173 now makes the LCP a required part of the IEP for each child who is deaf or hard of hearing. The CSDE will post the LCP as part of the IEP form on the CSDE web site. To assure that each child’s unique needs are identified and considered in the development of a child’s IEP, the LCP must be developed at the initial IEP for each child who is deaf or hard or hearing and must be reviewed at least annually and revised as appropriate.
Should there be a situation where the special considerations for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing have not been discussed at an IEP and/or are not reflected in the child’s current IEP, the child’s PPT should reconvene as soon as possible to develop the child’s LCP. If the child’s special considerations are reflected in the child’s current IEP, these should be reviewed and revised as appropriate at the child’s next PPT or annual review, whichever occurs first. The LCP as developed and/or revised must be included in the IEP.
Questions regarding the LCP can be directed to Colleen Hayles at 860-713-6922 or via email at email@example.com.