Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1522
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of SB1522  93rd General Assembly

SB1522 93rd General Assembly


                                     LRB093 10999 AMC 11647 b

 1        AN ACT regarding deaf and hard of hearing children.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  1.   Short  title.  This Act may be cited as the
 5    Bill of Rights for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Act.

 6        Section 5.  Findings.  In order to ensure  that  children
 7    who  are  deaf  or  hard  of hearing have the same rights and
 8    potential  to  become  independent  and  self-actualizing  as
 9    children who are not deaf or hard of hearing  and  consistent
10    with  the  Individuals  with Disabilities Education Act at 20
11    U.S.C. 1414(d)(3)(B)(iv), the Bill of  Rights  for  Deaf  and
12    Hard of Hearing Children is established.

13        Section   10.    Definition.    "Communication   mode  or
14    language" means the individual child's communication mode  or
15    language, whether oral, signing, or a combination of oral and
16    signing modes including but not limited to:
17             (1)  American Sign Language.
18             (2)  English-based manual or sign systems.
19             (3)  Oral, Aural or Speech-based training.

20        Section   15.    Education.   It  is  essential  for  the
21    well-being and growth of deaf and hard  of  hearing  children
22    that  educational  programs  recognize  the  unique nature of
23    deafness and  ensure  that  all  deaf  and  hard  of  hearing
24    children  have appropriate, ongoing, functionally equivalent,
25    and  fully  accessible  educational  opportunities.   It   is
26    essential  that  deaf  and hard of hearing children, like all
27    children,  have  an   education   in   which   their   unique
28    communication  mode  or language is respected and utilized to
29    develop literacy and  writing  skills  to  a  level  that  is
                            -2-      LRB093 10999 AMC 11647 b
 1    equivalent to their hearing peers.

 2        Section  20.   Essentials  for  deaf  and hard of hearing
 3    children.   The  General  Assembly  recognizes  that  it   is
 4    essential   for  the  educational  and  emotional  growth  of
 5    children who are deaf and hard of hearing to have:
 6        (1)  Early   identification   services   which   identify
 7    children with hearing losses as early in  life  as  possible,
 8    result in prompt referrals to informational resources linking
 9    children  and  parents  to  appropriate services, and include
10    identification  of  communication  mode   or   language   and
11    communication proficiency.
12        (2)  Early     intervention    services    provided    by
13    professionals who are trained and certified in the  field  of
14    deaf  and  hard  of  hearing  and  who  are proficient in the
15    communication mode or language used by the children.
16        (3)  Educational placement from early  childhood  through
17    high school within programs which recognize the unique nature
18    of  deafness  and  which  are  appropriate  to the individual
19    student's  needs,  including  but  not  limited  to   social,
20    emotional,  cultural,  age,  hearing  loss,  academic  level,
21    communication   mode   or   language,   style   of  learning,
22    motivational level, and family support.
23        (4)  Educational    programs    in    which     teachers,
24    interpreters, early intervention specialists, diagnosticians,
25    supervisors,  and  others involved in the educational process
26    understand the unique nature of  deafness,  are  trained  and
27    certified   in   the   field,   and  are  proficient  in  the
28    communication mode or language used by the children.  Program
29    administrators must have knowledge of the educational  issues
30    and  related  services pertaining to educational programs for
31    children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
32        (5)  Educational programs  which  provide  screening  and
33    assessment,   including   but   not   limited   to   academic
                            -3-      LRB093 10999 AMC 11647 b
 1    achievement,   psychological,  social/emotional,  vocational,
 2    audiological and speech/language, for children who  are  deaf
 3    and  hard  of  hearing using appropriate tools and procedures
 4    designed for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.  Such
 5    screening and assessment will be  conducted  in  the  child's
 6    communication   mode  or  language  by  qualified,  certified
 7    evaluators.
 8        (6)  Educational  programs  in   which   the   children's
 9    language  or  communication  modes  are  respected, used, and
10    developed to an appropriate level of  proficiency  to  ensure
11    comprehension and growth.
12        (7)  Educational    programs    which   provide   ongoing
13    opportunities for the children to have direct interaction and
14    communication with other deaf or hard  of  hearing  children,
15    including  a  critical  mass of peers who are age appropriate
16    and have similar cognitive abilities.
17        (9)  Full and equal access to  all  programs  within  the
18    children's educational setting.
19        (10)  The  opportunity  to  benefit  from deaf or hard of
20    hearing role models from within the deaf community and to  be
21    exposed to their contributions to society.
22        (11)  External  support  and related services appropriate
23    to the children's needs provided  by  professionals  who  are
24    qualified,  appropriately  trained,  or certified and able to
25    communicate proficiently in  the  language  or  communication
26    mode  utilized by the children either directly or through the
27    use of a qualified interpreter.

28        Section  25.  Informed  decision.   To  ensure  effective
29    parental or guardianship advocacy and informed  participation
30    in  the  decision  making  process  relating to and affecting
31    their child's education, the local school shall  provide  and
32    make  available unbiased information and resources concerning
33    all available programs, options, and services to parents  and
                            -4-      LRB093 10999 AMC 11647 b
 1    legal guardians.

 2        Section  30.  Coordination.  The Deaf and Hard of Hearing
 3    Commission shall carry out the intent of this Act and develop
 4    and  disseminate  information   and   resources   to   ensure
 5    implementation of this Act.

 6        Section  35.   Application.   Nothing  in this Act may be
 7    construed to  limit  the  child's  educational  choice  among
 8    public   or   private  educational  programs  or  educational
 9    programs designed for children  who  are  deaf  and  hard  of
10    hearing.