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Winter 2009 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Reprinted with permission from the Texas School for the Deaf website:

Abstract:  The National Agenda Collaborative has addressed education reform for students who are deaf and deafblind.

Keywords:  Deafblind, deaf, National Agenda, stakeholders, reform


The following is a history of the efforts for deaf education reform in the state of Texas. The Texas National Agenda Collaborative (TNAC) grew out of these reform efforts and is based on the goals of the National Agenda. The work of TNAC has been encouraged by our team’s participation in the State Leaders’ Deaf Education Summits. TNAC is made up of individuals representing the Deaf community, parents, advocates, educators, early interventionists, rehabilitation, post-secondary education, interpreters, and other stakeholders in the education of deaf and hard of hearing children.

Texas State Reform

After the first State Leaders Summit on Deaf Education in Atlanta in the spring of 2005, the Texas representatives met with Texas Deaf Education Administrators at their biennial conference in the following summer. The National Agenda <> was well received and these supervisors indicated their enthusiastic support of reform in deaf education by immediately creating a list of “Hot Topics” (see <>) for the state of Texas. Many of these topics were carried forward in a stakeholders group that began work in March of 2006 to draft a revision of the State Plan for Deaf Education. This document is a requirement of the state education agency and is described in education code as a “comprehensive statewide plan for educational services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.” The original goal was to align the Texas State Plan with the National Agenda. The initial work of the stakeholders identified fourteen areas for reform (see: <>).

These were then submitted for consideration to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Policy Team in the Division of IDEA Coordination. The TEA Policy Team separated these suggestions for reform into indicators and descriptors.

They also determined that the indicators would be only those items that can be quantitatively measured using mechanisms already in place for current data collection. These four result statements and indicators are among those required by the State Performance Plan for Special Education mandated by IDEA 2004 and are posted on the TEA website as the Texas State Plan for Deaf Education 2007.

(see:  <>)

The TEA Policy Team suggested the remaining reform submissions of the State Plan stakeholders were better described as descriptors or best practices and therefore these do not appear in the State Plan for Deaf Education. Many of the stakeholders believe that these descriptors are critical considerations that must be preserved to accomplish the scope of reform suggested by the National Agenda. Family involvement, the concerns related to low- functioning deaf students, and a myriad of other goals were labeled as descriptors and therefore not included in the State Plan. Consequently, the Texas National Agenda Collaborative has committed to creating a more comprehensive state plan that captures guidelines and standards that would direct the state’s implementation of the National Agenda.

Ongoing Efforts

The Texas National Agenda Collaborative continues to meet four times per year and at its Oct. 2007 meeting identified this year’s priority to be the writing of a comprehensive state plan for deaf education that is truly reflective of the goals of the National Agenda and of the concerns of the state plan stakeholders. Another function of the quarterly TNAC meetings is networking and sharing of information across agencies as well as exploration of potential collaborative projects.

TNAC Members Contact List

Bond, John

RDSPD Coordinator, ESC 20

State Lead Deaf Education,

Classroom Instruction

210.370.5418 IP:


Bosson, Lisa

Retired UT ASL Faculty and

TSD Principal

Representative of TAD,

Deaf Community


Bugen, Claire

Superintendent, Texas School

for the Deaf

512.462.5301 IP:


Crawford, Lisa

State Outreach Parent Liaison,

Educational Resource Center

on Deafness at TSD



Davis, Laura

Co-founder, Texas Hands & Voices



Diffee, Dan

Educational Consultant,

ESC Region XI

State Lead Deaf Education,

Communication Access



Dittfurth, Doug

Outreach Development Spec.,





Elder, Martha

ESC 15, DHH Network Contact

Coordinator, Region 15 RDSPD


Bounds, Betty

Representative for Texas Assn.

of the Deaf


Favila, Alicia

Senior Consultant, ESC Region 10

State Lead Deaf Ed. Services

for 0–5



Feltner, Angela

State Coordinator VR Services for

Deaf and Hard of Hearing,




Johnson, Theresa

Educational Resource Center on




Lomas, Gabe

Owner, Houston Center for

Mental Health and Deafness



Metcalf, Lauri

Department Chair, San Antonio

College Interpreter Training


210.733.2071 210.733.2072 (TTY)


Myers, David

Director, DARS/DHHS

VP: 512.444.5706



Pitt, Brent

Services for the Deaf and Hard

of Hearing,

Division of Coordination, TEA



Poeppelmeyer, Diana

Director, Educational Resource

Center on Deafness at TSD



Smith, Chad

Dir., Deaf Education,

Texas Woman’s University



Turner, Randi

Communication Access Specialist


512.407.3267 IP: