Title: 'Implementing a Communication Plan within Part C'
Track: 4 - Early Intervention
Keyword(s): part C, communication plan, special factors
Learning Objectives:
  1. Discuss the IDEA Part B special factors for deaf and hard of hearing children.
  2. Discuss the rationale and importance for including a discussion of special factors and development of a Communication Plan within the IFSP.
  3. Discuss strategies for implementing special factors within Part C and using them in the transition to Part B.


The IDEA special factors requirement [34CFR300.324(2)(iv)] may be the most important part of the IEP for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. This regulation requires IEP teams to: “Consider the communication needs of the child, and in the case of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the child’s language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communications with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode. Consider whether the child needs assistive technology devices and services.” This past year the CDC Family Support Committee completed a document, Making a Plan for your Child: IFSP Considerations for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This document provides a suggested Communication Plan that can be incorporated within the IFSP. While special factors is not a requirement within Part C, OSEP’s responses to questions and comments from the IDEA Part C regulation reviewers clearly opens the door to application of special factors in the IFSP. There is compelling rationale to do so. One important reason to use a Communication Plan with the IFSP is that it defines the child’s communication needs prior to the transition to Part B thereby putting more emphasis on parent preferences and insuring the discussion continues under Part B. This session will discuss the legal basis and rationale for incorporating a special factors discussion in the IFSP, strategies for the implementation of the IFSP Communication Plan, and pros and cons associated with state Deaf Child Bill of Rights legislation.
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Janet DesGeorges - Co-Presenter
Hands & Voices, Headquarters
     Credentials: N/A
      Janet DesGeorges lives in Boulder, Colorado and is mom to Sara, who is hard of hearing. She is a co-founder of Hands & Voices, serving as the Executive Director since September 2011, and as the E.D. of the Flagship chapter of Hands & Voices in Colorado for 10 years prior to that. Ms. DesGeorges is the author on the chapter for Family Support in the NCHAM e-Book, the co-author of the book Educational Advocacy for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The Hands & Voices Guidebook, and many other publications. Ms. DesGeorges received a program certificate from the MCH Public Health Leadership Institute in 2011 at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Her areas of interest include Leadership Development for parents; Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Systems; Parent/Professional partnerships in Quality Improvement processes.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Cheryl DeConde Johnson - POC,Co-Presenter
ADEvantage Consulting
     Credentials: Ed.D., Board Certified Audiologist with Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification
     Other Affiliations: National State Leaders Summit,Hands & Voices, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, University of Arizona
      Cheryl DeConde Johnson is a former consultant with the Colorado Department of Education where she was responsible for deaf education and audiology services from 1998-2006. Prior to that time she was an educational audiologist and program coordinator for the public school deaf and hard of hearing program in Greeley, Colorado, and was a parent facilitator and regional coordinator for the Colorado Home Intervention Program. She is currently a lecturer in AuD programs at the University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Northern Colorado, and Salus University as well as adjunct faculty in the deaf education program at the University of Arizona. She is an active consultant regarding systems development in deaf education and is a co-founder and President of the Board of Directors for Hands & Voices. Dr. Johnson has a grown daughter who is deaf.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.