Parent Voices Needed on Local Councils

Publication Date: August 25, 2019 Local Interagency Coordinating Councils are required by state law to "advise and assist" EI/ECSE Contractors on identification of service needs, coordination with other agency services. The LICC is intended to gather input from and exchange information with stakeholders on decisions about EI/ECSE services.  LICCs have tremendous potential to influence local programs and agencies to enhance services for young children with disabilities and their families.  The insight gained from voiced parent perspective can result in meaningful change, improved services, and expanded collaboration on early childhood services in your community. If you are interested in helping to guide the direction of EI/ECSE Services in your region, contact us at the Alliance for Early Intervention and we will connect you with the Chair of your Local Interagency Coordinating Council.

Proposed Cuts to Regional Programs

Publication Date: February 27, 2019 The Alliance for Early Intervention is concerned about the proposed $6.2M cut to regional programs in the Governor's Recommended Budget. Regional programs serve over 10,000 students a year in Oregon who experience disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Deafness, Blindness, Orthopedic Impairments and Traumatic Brain Injury.  There are eight regional programs providing educational supports through Education Services Districts (ESDs) across the state.  This reduction would amount to an almost 20% funding reduction to each regional program. A reduction in funding means a significant reduction in services for students with low incidence disabilities. Regional programs anticipate having to lay off staff and increase caseloads of the staff that remain. Across Oregon, this reduction is likely to result in a loss of over 40 FTE in specialized staff that includes Autism Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists.  This proposed reduction would also mean that school districts and EI/ECSE programs will be responsible to fill the [...]

Oregon’s Legislative Session Ends Early!

Publication Date: March 5, 2018 The legislature ended the 2018 session Sine Die on Saturday, March 3, 2018. This is eight days ahead of the Constitutional Sine Die date of March 11. This was a short, but efficient session! The big news for Early Intervention / Early Childhood Education is the that both the House and Senate passed House Bill 4067 which will extend the developmental delay eligibility category for special education beyond preschool age up through third grade (up to age 10) to ensure children experiencing delays get the supports they need to succeed in school. House Bill 4067 is heading to the Governor's desk for her signature. To read the House Bill 4067, click this link.  Oregon will be joining 30 other states in creating stronger educational experiences for students by extending the Developmental Delay eligibility category until third grade. This will also reduce barriers for families and give educators more [...]

Oregon’s Legislative Session is Off to a Great Start

Publication Date: February 12, 2018 The Oregon Legislature has been back in session for one week, and we are happy to report that the House Early Childhood and Family Supports Committee has already heard testimony on House Bill 4067 to extend the developmental delay eligibility category for special education beyond preschool age up through third grade (up to age 10) to ensure children experiencing delays get the supports they need to succeed in school. Approximately 200 Oregon children who qualified for Early Childhood Special Education services under the developmental delay eligibility criteria will lose access to needed educational supports and fall further behind their peers. Often, children of color and children from low-income families and those experiencing poverty have delayed diagnoses. Without supports in kindergarten and beyond they face significant educational barriers to success. It is our hope that Oregon will join 30 other states in creating stronger educational experiences for students by [...]

Advocating for Izzy

Oregon AEI would like to share a story from an Oregon mom who recently traveled to Salem to meet with her legislator for the first time. Heidi is a self-described “non-political person,” but with recent proposed budget cuts hitting the news, she felt motivated and empowered to share her family’s experience with early intervention and special education with her state senator. My name is Heidi Robinson, and my two children attend elementary school in Hillsboro. My daughter Izzy is seven, and was born with Kabuki Syndrome. She experiences intellectual and developmental disabilities as a result of this syndrome, as well as many medical issues. Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services in our state are not meeting recommended service levels. We moved here from Arizona in January of 2015. My daughter has been receiving either Early Intervention (EI) or ECSE services in Arizona since she was three months old. When she [...]

2017 Advocacy Days are Here!

If you are reading this, it’s probably safe to assume that Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) services have impacted your life in a positive way.  If so, your advocacy in support of these services is needed now more than ever! The 2017 Oregon legislative session starts this week, and it’s more important than ever for YOU to take action in support of the programs and services that impact your life. Our legislators want to hear from you and benefit from your experience, so write an email, make a phone call, or give testimony at a legislative hearing! As you may have heard in the news, Oregon has a $1.8 billion dollar budget shortfall that may result in further cuts to already underfunded EI/ECSE programs which have been unable to provide the levels of service that children and families need. The Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means [...]

Senator Sara Gelser: “We need to hear your stories”

Oregon AEI was privileged to ask Senator Sara Gelser to share her thoughts about ways parents can get involved in advocating at the state level on issues that are important to them.  How did you get involved in advocating on behalf of people with disabilities? The day before my 21st birthday, I gave birth to my oldest child who was born with physical and developmental disabilities. Through the first years of his life, it became clear to me how much economic, educational, and health care privilege impacted his ability to make progress and exceed expectations. It seemed like such a profound injustice to me that a child could be limited in meeting their potential through lack of access to services, education, or health care. That’s why I got involved with advocacy for children with disabilities. Around the time my son was born (1994), Fairview was also in the news as [...]

News: Oregon’s Expanded Workforce Registry

December 20, 2016 Recently, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services [HHS] and Education [ED] released a report that explored how states used integrated data from early childhood programs to improve their services. Oregon is one of the states highlighted for its development of an expanded registry for the early learning workforce. Before this expanded workforce registry was launched in 2012, Oregon did not have reliable basic demographic data on the early childhood workforce, such as how many people worked in early childhood programs, what jobs they held, their education level, how much training they received, their race, gender, ethnicity and primary language, etc. Today, Oregon’s integrated workforce database electronically links professional qualification and training data (from individual workforce members) with licensing data (from child care facilities in Oregon) in order to provide a better demographic profile of the early childhood workforce. Although this data is not presently connected to data on [...]