ODE: Proposed rule revisions related to special education

Oregon Administrative Rule Revisions 


ODE is working to update a number of Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) related to special education for clarity, consistency, and alignment with IDEA, and due to the implementation of Senate Bill 13 and Senate Bill 16.  


SB 13 changed the following terminology used in special education: 

*         Hearing Impairment to Deaf or Hard of Hearing; 

*         Deaf-blindness to Deafblindness; 

*         Emotional Disturbance to Emotional Behavior Disability; 

*         Autism to Autism Spectrum Disorder; and 

*         Orthopedic or Other Health Impairment to Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment. 


SB 16 established a focus on the following evaluation components instead of the Medical State/Health Assessment form: 

*         Medical Examination; 

*         Vision Examination; and 

*         Audiological Assessment.  


The State Board of Education will hold its first reading for the following rules on January 16, 2020: 


SS     Communication Disorder 581-015-2135 

SS     Deafblindness 581-015-2140 

SS     Definitions 581-015-2000 

SS     Definitions EI/ECSE Programs 581-015-2700 

SS     Definitions for Regional Programs 581-015-2540 

SS     Determination for Eligibility 581-015-2120 

SS     Developmental Delay 581-015-2127 

SS     ECSE Evaluations 581-015-2790 

SS     EI Eligibility 581-015-2780 

SS     EI Evaluation 581-015-2775 

SS     Eligibility Criteria for Student Weighting for Purpose for SSF Distribution 581-023-0100 

SS     Eligibility for Regional Services 581-015-2550 

SS     Emotional Disturbance 581-015-2145 

SS     Evaluation Planning 581-015-2115 

SS     General Placement 581-016-0526 

SS     Hearing Impairment 581-015-2150 

SS     Intellectual Disability 581-015-2155 

SS     Minimum Standards for Sign Language Interpreters Serving Students in Public School 581-015-2035 

SS     Other Health Impairment 581-015-2165 

SS     Orthopedic Impairment 581-015-2160 

SS     Referral for Regional Services 581-015-2555 

SS     Special Provision 581-016-0740 

SS     Specific Learning Disability 581-015-2170 

SS     Traumatic Brain Injury 581-015-2175 

SS     Vision Impairment 581-015-2180 



Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH) Eligibility  

OAR 581-015-2150 Revision Proposals 


Following stakeholder input, ODE is proposing changes to the eligibility criteria for Early Childhood Special Education and School Age Deaf and Hard of Hearing Special Education eligibility. The State Board of Education will hear first reading on this proposed rule on January 16, 2020. 


The new criteria being considered is: 

*         The child must have hearing thresholds in at least one ear of 25 dBHL or greater at two or more consecutive frequencies at 500 HZ, 1000 HZ, 2000 HZ, 40000 HZ, 6000 HZ and 8000HZ; or 

*         The hearing loss is due to auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) or aural microtia/atresia, as determined by an audiologist or physician, respectively. 


The changes being considered are more inclusive of students with unilateral hearing loss, those with mild losses, those with microtia/atresia, and auditory neuropathy. Current research suggests that many students with unilateral hearing loss from 25-50 dB are struggling in school and are not receiving services. Without intervention and support, many of these students struggle with instruction, have communication difficulties and/or are behind in literacy and other academic areas. 



Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Eligibility 

OAR 581-015-2175 Revision Proposals 


Also following stakeholder input, ODE is proposing changes to the evaluation requirements for TBI. Due to an ongoing challenge of obtaining the medical documentation required to determine eligibility, an alternative method of obtaining information about a student's possible traumatic brain injury event is being considered.  


For cases in which medical documentation cannot be obtained, a Guided Credible History Interview Process will help school teams establish a credible history of TBI. The Guided Credible History Interview process is an interview facilitated by an individual familiar with the symptoms of a TBI to thoroughly explore a student's or family's report of a possible TBI. 


The State Board of Education will hear the first reading of this proposed rule on January 16, 2020. 


All proposed OAR revisions have been posted to this website  (look about half way down the page). After the first reading, the public will have an opportunity to provide comment and input on the proposed rule revisions before the State Board considers adoption at a subsequent meeting. Comments can be sent to ODE [dot] RuleTestimony [at] state [dot] or [dot] us


ODE is also considering revisions to OAR 581-015-2130 Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, proposed revisions have not yet been determined. A date for the State Board of Education to hear the first reading has not yet been set. As with these rules, there will be a significant period of time for the public to provide input or comment on the proposed updates to this rule following the first reading.  


If you have questions, please email Linda Brown or call her at 503-947-5825.  


Oregon achieves . . . together!

Linda Brown D. Ed

Regional/Educational Specialist

Office of Enhancing Student Opportunities

255 Capitol Street NE | Salem, Oregon 97310

Phone: 503-947-5825  Fax: 503-378-5156

Email: linda [dot] brown [at] state [dot] or [dot] us  | www.oregon.gov/ode