July 9, 2020 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention

  • Audience

  • Open to the general public.
  • Time

  • 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Location

  • Via Zoom Meeting
  • To register, please go to:
  • Agenda

  • Call to Order
  • Introduction of Council Members: Brenda Devito
  • Approval of January 9, 2020 Draft Meeting Report: Brenda Devito
  • COVID-19 Activity Updates: Ann Freiburg
  • Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update: Amy Zimmerman
  • Early Intervention/Home Visiting Convening Workgroup Update/EI Principles Discussion: Benny Delgado
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update: Meghan Burke
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth to 5/Prenatal to 3 Initiative: Lori Orr
  • Council Roles/Communication with Constituents: Brenda Devito
  • Ongoing Updates: Ann Freiburg
    • IMPACT
    • Cornerstone
    • Bureau
    • Digital Signatures
    • Service Delivery Approaches (SDA) Workgroup Recommendations
  • Council Workgroups: Brenda Devito 
  • Annual Performance Report (APR) & State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP): Ann Freiburg 
  • Adjournment of Meeting: Brenda Devito


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Benny Delgado, Provider Representative
  • Brenda Devito, Clearbrook, Chairperson
  • Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education
  • Christine Doyle Morrison, Provider Representative
  • Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative
  • Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative
  • Ann Freiburg, IDHS, Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Lynnette DeGraffenreid, Provider Representative
  • Tracy Gunderson, Provider Representative
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Vicki Hodges, ISBE, McKinney-Vento, Homeless Representative
  • Dee Dee Lowery, CFC 1 Program Manager, Urban Representative
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Lori Orr, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development
  • Nisha Sanghvi, Provider Representative
  • Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative
  • Shelly Roat for Ralph Schubert, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Angel Williams, IL Dept. of Child and Family Services
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative


  • Kelly Cunningham, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Rosie Perez, Parent Representative
  • Becca Trevino, Parent Representative
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health

Council Packet Contents

  • Agenda
  • Draft Council Meeting Report - January 9, 2020 Meeting
  • Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update
  • Draft Early Intervention Principles
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Early Intervention Program Caseload Summary Reports - December 2019 to February 2020 & March to May 2020
  1. Call to Order
    Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:05 am.
  2. Introductions of Council Members
    Members introduced themselves via a roll call and stated their agency/role on the Council.
  3. Approval of the January 9, 2019 Draft Meeting Report
    Amy Zimmerman made a motion to approve the minutes. Benny seconded. Motion passed. Short discussion followed about the data related to homelessness that Ann had pulled as a follow up to the January presentation. Brenda also shared the response from DHS legal regarding Public Comments during IICEI meetings via Zoom.
  4. COVID-19 Activity Updates
    Ann has been working with a workgroup to create the various pieces of guidance that have been posted. We are using the Provider Connections website to share information. Currently working on the guidance for resuming limited in-person services. Getting final comments back from IDPH and stakeholders. Want to provide some lead time for the planning that will be involved to resume in-person services. Also sharing weekly updates with the field. Brenda and Amy asked Ann to talk more about the subgroups and some of the specific steps that DHS has taken to keep early intervention going during the pandemic. Ann shared that there are groups that have helped with telehealth, data, and electronic signatures. Current direction from IDPH has been to limit exposure to 10 families. Childcare has opened up with limited group sizes. We have a group that addressed how we would provide EI in childcare. Also exploring ways to provide PPE to the workforce. Transition workgroup has been working to ensure that there is continuity between early intervention and early childhood special education.
    Brenda also shared that the workgroup has identified the need to share information with families and referral sources/other systems. Ann described the resources that the EI Clearinghouse has developed materials for families. There are also some documents on the GOECD website that talk about early intervention. Meghan shared that the Clearinghouse has also been working with the PTIs and ISBE to prepare information for families about the transition process and their rights. Benny said that the pandemic has highlighted both strengths and weaknesses within our system. Communication has been a recognized challenge. He hopes that we can use what we have learned during this time to make the system stronger and encourages everyone to direct families to the Clearinghouse for information. Brenda shared her hope that the new data system will be one step toward addressing some of the challenges identified. Lori shared that another lesson we have learned is that not all families have or use technology. Multiple options for communication will likely always be necessary.
    DeeDee shared that they have been able to start moving more families off their delay lists. She hopes that we will be able to continue telehealth option moving out of the pandemic. Ann shared that an Executive Order is currently permitting this, but there may be legislation that has been proposed that would help with this. Amy would like to know if there is specific legislation for telehealth in early intervention that people could be supporting. Brenda asked Chuck about challenges with internet and equipment in his service area. He responded that there are coverage challenges in some areas but that most of his families seeking telehealth are able to access it.
    Ginger shared how impressed she has been with early intervention's response to the pandemic, both the Bureau and the Early Intervention Training Program have really played a huge part in this success. Brenda seconded this and thanked all those who have volunteered to get these pieces moving. Ann is also appreciative of the partners and stakeholders who have pitched in.
    Amy Z asked for clarification around timelines for resumption of in-person services. Ann said that there are still items that need to be addressed. Her hope is to get the guidance out by next week with 2 weeks to prepare for resuming in-person services. Would like to have all the pieces in the guidance aligned, but it may have to go out with some parts still coming in the future.
  5. Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update
    Amy Zimmerman reported that elevated lead level eligibility started on July 1, 2020. There is still some rulemaking that must be completed to update the medical condition listing. Comments have been submitted and JCAR will rule on it on July 14th. It will likely then be fast-tracked for implementation. Pilot is still moving forward. There is an upcoming webinar on July 17th that will address serving young children exposed to lead. The guidelines that have been developed should be shared widely so that everyone is prepared to support these children. Brenda asked if the workgroup is finished since they have accomplished their charge. Amy would like to revisit this at the next meeting to see if there is anything else the Council needs from them before disbanding.
  6. Early Intervention/Home Visiting Convening Update: EI Principles Discussion
    Benny Delgado updated Council members on the purpose behind the convening. Small group reviewed EI materials to see where we could better emphasize coordination/communication between the two systems. As part of this discussion, the principles were reviewed and updated to reflect how the field has changed over the last 20 years. Benny highlighted the changes for Council members and the audience. Christy, Amy Santos and Amy Zimmerman had specific wording suggestions. Meghan had asked a few families to review and they suggested adding "culturally relevant" to 7 as well. Ginger recommended thinking about communication more broadly to be respectful of communication modalities and access (1, 4, and 7). Lots of discussions in her world that bilingual and trilingual references do not often account for communication modalities. Perhaps adding "using culturally and linguistically responsive and affirming practices" to number 4 and ending with "that support communication access". Members supported using the term transdisciplinary, at least until the next revision, so that the evidence base around interprofessional collaboration in early childhood could be more developed. Benny made a motion to approve with amendments. DeeDee seconded. Principles accepted. Workgroup will update and send out to various sources.
  7. Telehealth Workgroup Update
    Meghan Burke provided an update on the efforts of this workgroup, highlighting some of their accomplishments. A subgroup has helped create some informational documents for various audiences. Evaluation group has created some surveys that she shared with Council members. Family survey is in English and Spanish. 100 families have already responded. Equity and access have been foci for this group. Working to eliminate barriers to telehealth use. One example of this is the grant that the Clearinghouse received from the Arc that allows families to borrow equipment to support LVVs. Rush has received another grant to support technology use for families living in CFC#9. Amy Z asked about the various ways that families can access the application for equipment and how that information has been shared so that families know about this. It has been noted in all of the documents that have been posted so far. This workgroup welcomes new members as they continue their efforts. Angel asked if families would continue to have access to the equipment even if the Executive Order doesn't extend past July 26th. Families can have access throughout their EI eligibility. The question is more about whether the family would need the equipment if no longer receiving LVVs. Lori clarified that there is currently no expectation that the Executive Order won't continue to be extended until there is legislation in place. While DeeDee supports use of this option, she is concerned about families only getting this type of support moving forward. IDHS legislation has told Ann that there are interested parties in moving telehealth legislation forward. Amy suggested that a meeting be scheduled if IDHS is looking for support on affirmative legislation. Shelly asked that family choice be respected throughout the decision-making around service modality.
  8. Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Birth to 5, Prenatal to Three (PN3) Initiative, and Governor's Office Updates
    Lori Orr said that PN3 work is being led through the Ounce. PDGB-5 is being led by GOECD. Working on cross-walk to determine alignment and how to coordinate work. Early intervention is involved in both initiatives. Lori will share the document in the future and will prepare a written report to Council members to provide more details on these efforts.
  9. Council Roles/Communication with Constituents
    Brenda wants to ensure that communication with the field is timely and accurate. Nisha stressed the importance of using the established partners' websites for reliable communication. Brenda asked what other avenues we should be using. Benny encouraged audience members to submit their ideas via the chat box. He hears from providers that the challenge is limited opportunities for back and forth exchanges when clarification is needed. The Council will circle back to this topic moving forward.
  10. Ongoing Updates
    a) Illinois Medicaid Program Advanced Cloud Technology
    Status quo for now.
    b) Cornerstone
    RFP is posted and should be closing soon. Hope to have more information to share with the Council soon. Not clear when the system would be available for use as it depends on parameters of new system.
    c) Bureau
    Has had a number of new staff members join during pandemic. Still have one more position that remains to be filled. None of the five new positions she has proposed have moved forward. They are still pending. Council members would like to lend support for the Communications position.
    d) Digital Signatures
    In discussions with the Chief Information Officer at Department of Information Technology to help expedite a process. New data system may also have options for supporting this. No date set yet for a meeting about this as it involves multiple programs. Brenda asked that this information be included in the weekly update.
    Nisha asked about status of provider retention payments. Ann shared that they are running a test of the process either this week or next to ensure system works properly before issuing mass payments. Need to work out any kinks since this is a very different way of issuing payments to providers. A suggestion was made to include information about this in the weekly update as well.
    e) Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup Recommendations
    Ann gave some background on what was shared with Council members. She has not been able to update progress due to the abundance of time spent on COVID-related items. Will try to do this before the next meeting. Some of the items are being addressed through SSIP and new data system.
  11. Council Workgroups
    Brenda wants to clarify what groups exist and which ones are needed. Lead group doesn't need more members. EI/HV convening was not a formal workgroup of the Council. No additional needs have been identified for that group. The only currently active Council workgroup is the telehealth workgroup. Brenda asked about the EI fiscal workgroup. Benny said that he and Karen co-chaired this group. Brenda asked for clarification of that workgroup's charge. Benny said it was to review the fiscal health of the EI program and make proactive recommendations for any additional funding. Kathy, Bob, Lori, Amy Z., and DeeDee were previously on the workgroup. There were non-Council participants as well. What are future needs in regard to this workgroup? Workgroup had requested some data elements for decision-making. There may be some value in meeting given the ongoing work of the Funding Committee.
    People who are interested in participating on the workgroups were asked to indicate this in the chat. Nisha, Angel, and Christy interested in being involved in fiscal workgroup. Lynnette, Tracy Nisha, Angel, and Christy interested in joining telehealth workgroup. A communications workgroup was also suggested. Benny would like to have Michelle join the fiscal workgroup. Amy Santos, Chuck, Esther, Christy, Angel, Benny, DeeDee, and Nisha happy to help with Communications workgroup. Angel asked about an Equity and Access workgroup. Angel, Esther, and Benny would like to help with that workgroup. Other audience members also indicated willingness to assist via the chat log.
  12. Annual Performance Report/SSIP
    Ann still waiting to hear from OSEP about plans for next five years. Will need Council input as we prepare. Received feedback on our APR. Still waiting to hear about feedback on SSIP. SSIP focused on two coherent improvement strategies- improving child outcomes data collection and improving family engagement. Will let Council members know when we receive the SSIP feedback. Did alert OSEP when plan was submitted that our plans may need altering given the current status of the system.
  13. Adjournment
    Angel motioned to adjourn. Christy seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 12:41pm.

Contact Information

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Ph: 217/524-1596

Email: jennifer.grissom@illinois.gov

If you are need of special accommodations, please email or call Jenni Grissom.