SHARE: Educational Strategy Team Legislative Committee Report
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SHARE: Educational Strategy Team Legislative Committee Report

Hello, my name is Kim Bianco Majeri and I work with the NAD as the State Legislative Affairs Coordinator. I work with each state by discussing issues in their local area and by strategizing how to introduce and/or oppose bills. I also serve on the NAD Educational Strategy Team focusing on legislative bills related to Education. The Legislative Committee on EST has focused on three areas in the past two years. First, we revamped the Deaf Child Bill of Rights. We have had a general sample on our website and it has been up to the states to develop their own bills — which some states have done so. This time we developed a model bill that is more current and research based. The website reflects the updated portions of the bill. If states want to consider introducing this bill, please contact me at the NAD. Congratulations to West Virginia for being the first state to introduce the revamped version! I look forward to seeing the results. Many other states have expressed interest also. Second, we also are involved in and support the LEAD-K bill. California was the first state to introduce and pass the bill. The NAD has been involved in the efforts to encourage states to mobilize on this bill. This bill focuses on language acquisition, language access, and assessments and also requires states to recognize ASL as equal to English. It mandates that states develop systems in appropriate service delivery and establish reporting/data collection. This bill mainly focuses on ages 0-5. We congratulate California for passing this bill! There are currently about 10 state associations that are ready to emulate this bill. This is wonderful progress. The NAD helps by assisting state associations in preparing to introduce the bill providing legislative training to state associations to help understand their state political process and any other information they may need. Those two bills focus on ages 0-21 and on how to prevent language deprivation. Each bill addresses different ways to prevent language deprivation. Third, we also recognize the mandate by delegates to work to prevent Language Deprivation. The committee has analyzed how best to address this mandate. We realized language deprivation happens everywhere and not only in the educational system. It happens in the school, home, doctor’s office and work to name a few. We realized there was a need to establish a separate Language Deprivation task force to study where it occurs and how best to address these issues. That task force will complete its analysis but we have incorporated a lot of processes to the Deaf Child Bill of Rights and the LEAD-K bills. I am really proud of our work in that area in making sure we cover issues and address best practices. If any state association or individual is interested in either bill, please do contact me at the NAD. Thank you!

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