New Montana law to bring transparency, reporting in deaf education

Levi Brandborg, an 8-year-old from Missoula who is partially deaf and was born to deaf parents, thanked the state of Montana and Gov. Greg Gianforte at a ceremony Thursday afternoon in front of the Capitol commemorating the signing of a bill that in part will provide support for Montana students who are deaf or partially deaf.

Levi Brandborg, 8, thanks the Montana Legislature for passing HB 619 during a press conference on the steps of the state Capitol on Thursday, July 13, 2023.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

House Bill 619, with a short name of “Generally language assessment laws for deaf and hard of hearing children,” was co-sponsored by Rep. Connie Keogh, D-Missoula, and implements language testing of deaf or partially deaf Montana students in both English and American Sign Language as well as requiring school districts report the results to the state and parents.

HB 619 establishes a temporary language development advisory committee that will work with Montana’s Office of Public Instruction and Department of Public Health and Human Services to create parent resources; language developmental milestones for both English

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