Florida Senate - 2013                                    SB 1240
       By Senator Richter
       23-00847A-13                                          20131240__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to children who are deaf or hard of
    3         hearing; providing legislative findings; requiring
    4         health care providers to provide an opportunity for a
    5         child’s parent or legal guardian to provide contact
    6         information so that he or she may receive information
    7         from specified service providers when the hearing loss
    8         is identified; requiring the Department of Health to
    9         register certain service providers and institutions;
   10         allowing a parent or legal guardian to request
   11         services from a participating service provider;
   12         providing that the level of services received is based
   13         on the child’s individualized education program or
   14         individual and family service plan; providing for
   15         eligibility; providing a funding formula; requiring
   16         the department to develop standards for participating
   17         service providers; authorizing the department to adopt
   18         rules; providing an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing;
   23  instruction.—
   24         (1) The Legislature finds that children who are deaf or
   25  hard of hearing are entitled to an individual and family service
   26  plan, as defined in s. 411.202, Florida Statutes, or an
   27  individualized education program, as defined in s. 1003.55,
   28  Florida Statutes, to better accommodate the specific needs of
   29  the child and his or her family. The Legislature also finds that
   30  the instruction of children who are deaf or hard of hearing
   31  should be expanded to include center-based programs and
   32  services. Allowing a child’s parent or legal guardian the
   33  opportunity to provide his or her mailing address or e-mail
   34  address to registered service providers will enhance access to
   35  information about critical services and service providers.
   36         (2)(a) In cooperation with the Department of Education, the
   37  Department of Health shall develop standards for the selection
   38  of registered service providers or institutions to provide the
   39  services or instruction identified in paragraph (b) to children
   40  who are deaf or hard of hearing.
   41         (b) At the time that a child’s hearing loss is identified,
   42  the health care provider shall ask the child’s parent or legal
   43  guardian to provide a mailing address or an e-mail address if he
   44  or she wishes to receive correspondence from registered
   45  providers or institutions that offer diagnostic and evaluation
   46  services; speech and language pathology services; interpretation
   47  and auditory amplification; auditory-oral education; services
   48  provided by a certified listening and spoken language
   49  specialist; and other such services as approved by department
   50  rule.
   51         (c) In addition to newborn hearing screening providers
   52  offering services pursuant to s. 383.145, the Department of
   53  Health shall register service providers or institutions that
   54  provide services or instruction to children who are deaf or hard
   55  of hearing and are currently licensed, approved, or accredited
   56  by:
   57         1. The Florida Kindergarten Council;
   58         2. The Florida Council of Independent Schools;
   59         3. The John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with
   60  Disabilities Program; or
   61         4. The Office of Early Learning.
   62         (d) Other institutions or direct service providers may not
   63  participate unless the Department of Health approves them for
   64  inclusion on the list of registered providers.
   65         (3) A parent or legal guardian of a deaf or hard of hearing
   66  child may request services from a registered service provider or
   67  institution. The level of services is determined by the child’s
   68  individualized education program or individual and family
   69  service plan. A child is eligible for services with a registered
   70  provider or institution under this section until the end of the
   71  school year in which he or she reaches the age of 7 years or
   72  after completion of grade 2, whichever occurs first. The amount
   73  allocated for a child eligible for services under this section
   74  must be equivalent to the base student allocation in the Florida
   75  Education Finance Program multiplied by the support level V cost
   76  factor specified in the matrix of services established in s.
   77  1011.62, Florida Statutes.
   78         (4) The Department of Health shall adopt by rule the
   79  standards for the selection of service providers and may adopt
   80  other rules necessary to implement and administer this section.
   81         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.