Programs for Students who are Deaf (Audio)
By Jenifer Jones
The Senate Education Committee passed a bill that requires the South Dakota Department of Education to establish certain programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Senate Bill 121 makes a current statute more enforceable.
Currently, the statute says the Department of Education may establish certain programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Senate Bill 121 says the department shall. It also ties the requirements in the bill to a student's IEP, or individual education plan. Opponents say requirements in the bill are already covered by federal laws. Senator Daniel Ahlers of Dell Rapids is a sponsor of the bill. He says current federal regulations are too broad.
"This language strengthens the IEP process with respect the education of that child who is deaf or hard of hearing by focusing in on the communicational needs of a child," Ahlers says.
The bill next moves to the Senate floor.
Member stations can download the audio file here.