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ERIC Number: EJ1104088
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1544-6751
Small Numbers and Big Spaces Call for a Team Approach in North Dakota
Smith, Pam; Lambert, Bambi
Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, v17 p28-30 2016
Preparing deaf and hard of hearing students for transition is a unique challenge in North Dakota, a rural state in which the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has identified only 32 transition-age students as "deaf" or "hearing impaired." Additional students who are deaf or hard of hearing may be being served via 504 plans in the schools, but there is no data available which indicates this. Collaboration among schools, the school system, and various state agencies is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Services for deaf and hard of hearing students may be limited, or unavailable, as indicated by parents and educators across North Dakota. In the face of these challenges--low numbers, limited services, and a rural environment--North Dakota educators and the pepnet 2 team were determined to find ways to ensure and assist with the successful transitions of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The team began by developing a survey. The survey was disseminated to more than 500 agencies and providers across the state and garnered a 23 percent response rate; it gauged the needs that service agencies experience and asked respondents to identify problems in helping deaf and hard of hearing individuals transition from school to postsecondary education or the workplace. Respondents indicated that providers' experience with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing was infrequent, and that they felt somewhat ill-prepared to provide services due to the fact that they were unable to communicate fully and effectively. The greatest need for deaf and hard of hearing students, as stated by providers, was the lack of or inability to schedule certified interpreters. More than 80 percent of respondents reported lack of interpreter services as their number one concern. At present, only 17 interpreters are certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf in the entire state, and 12 of those interpreters work in classrooms. The second biggest problem, as indicated by the survey results, was lack of information about the needs of those who are deaf or hard of hearing. After an analysis of this survey, the North Dakota team developed a plan to address the needs of providers across the state while maintaining a focus and emphasis on the transition of youth who are deaf or hard of hearing. This article describes how the team planned and carried out a two-day transition summit with keynote speakers and breakout sessions designed for students, parents, professionals, and interpreters. Topics addressed included advocacy, the Individualized Education Program (IEP), employment, agency/community supports, legal rights/responsibilities, and audiological trends.
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue NE, KS 3600, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-526-9105; Tel: 202-651-5340; Fax: 202-651-5708; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Dakota
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A