October 1, 2020 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention - Location Updated 09/17/20


  • Open to the general public.


  • 10:00 am to 1:00 pm


  • Meeting held by Zoom Video Conference. 


  • Call to Order
  • Introduction of Council Members
  • Approval of July 9, 2020 Draft Meeting Report
  • COVID-19 Activity Updates
  • Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth to 5/Prenatal to 3 Initiative
  • Funding Commission
  • Illinois Early Intervention Principles
  • Ongoing Updates
    • IMPACT
    • Cornerstone
    • Bureau
    • Digital Signatures
    • Service Delivery Approaches (SDA) Workgroup Recommendations
  • Council Workgroups
  • Annual Performance Report (APR), State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)Review/Approval of 2021 Council Dates
  • Adjournment of Meeting

Council Report


  • 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
  • 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
  • Dee Dee Lowery, CFC 1 Program Manager, Urban Representative
  • Lori Orr, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development
  • Nisha Sanghvi, Provider Representative
  • Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative
  • Shelly Roat, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Angel Williams, IL Dept. of Child and Family Services
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Kelly Cunningham, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative
  • Vicki Hodges, ISBE, McKinney-Vento, Homeless Representative
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • 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 - July 9, 2020 Meeting
  • Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Final Illinois Early Intervention Principles
  • FY2020 Annual Local Interagency Council Report
  • Homeless Update
  • Proposed 2021 Council Dates
  • Early Intervention Program Caseload - June 2020 - August 2020
  1. Call to Order
    Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:04 am. 
  2. Introductions of Council Members
    Members introduced themselves and stated their agency/role on the Council.
  3. Approval of the July 9, 2020 Draft Meeting Report
    Lynnette made a motion to approve the minutes. Margaret seconded. Motion passed.
  4. COVID-19 Activity Updates
    Ann shared the Bureau's activities related to COVID. Weekly updates are being provided. A number of guidance documents have been posted. A few more are still being worked through the approval processes. Still seeking input from IDPH to see if anything else can be changed/updated. Bureau is finalizing retention payments for providers. Also finalizing the agreement for distribution of PPE through the Clearinghouse. Goal remains to stay on top of changes and provide consistent information to the field. Work of Reopen Workgroup will be transitioning to a Council workgroup. Benny asked when the final retention payments will be processed. Ann says that they anticipate finalizing this by the end of next week. They have hit a few snags along the way, but they are working hard to resolve them.
    Amy asked for more information related to when EI will more fully open for early intervention services. IDPH input still needed to go beyond current 10 family limit. Also, the overall document that includes information about the tiers needs reviewing. DeeDee asked if the mitigation strategies being employed in Region 1 as of Saturday will impact early intervention. Ann says that this is the type of information that needs clarification from IDPH. Amy asked if the Governor's Office could assist with access. Lori is working to help the Bureau get a contact, but she explained that mitigation strategies do not change the phase that the region is in. It is still important, though, to get IDPH input on how early intervention services may need to change as mitigation strategies become more restrictive. Continued options for service delivery, such as outdoor locations, will be more limited as the weather changes. Lori will work to help Ann obtain a consistent contact for the Bureau moving forward. Would be helpful to coordinate with home visiting since they are experiencing similar challenges. Ann and Chelsea plan to join the next Home Visiting Task Force executive meeting where they will hopefully be describing their plan in more detail.
    Amy asked for input from those on the Council in regard to what is happening in the field with direct service. Nisha, Christy, Tracy, and DeeDee shared that it is quite varied and based on individual circumstances. LVVs are working well for some, but not all, families. DeeDee's service coordinators are still not providing face to face services at this time. She is finding that their providers are being cautious about in person support. Lynnette shared some of the challenges she has experienced recently, e.g. not all people in the house wearing masks. Benny is seeing variance across regions. He has seen more requests for certain types of services, e.g. physical therapy, to be delivered in person. Amy urged the Bureau to consider flexibility with natural environments requirements to enable more options for service delivery.
    Nisha asked about progress with IFSP development changes to support transition. Bureau is currently working on this and the related technology changes needed. 
  5. Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update
    Amy Zimmerman reported that lead poisoning has been added to eligibility list. Law and rule have both gone into effect. Next piece is getting the word out and helping people understand how to support families. She is hoping that the lead guidelines can go out to the field soon. They are currently on the Legal Council's website but should likely live elsewhere as well. EITP is embedding the new information into training. Things she feels still need addressing include informing referral sources and families and incorporating the service guidelines into places that early interventionists typically go for information. Ideas for dissemination and awareness still need to be discussed/determined.
    Brenda asked Susan about what activities EITP has completed or has planned. Overview webinar has been held. It was hosted live and recorded. Have also done sessions at various conferences. In October, EITP is going to do a clean version of the webinar content to be used both in whole, and in part, for use in various ways. Also working with Legal Council to develop a packet of materials that LIC coordinators could use for community outreach. Susan is willing to have guidelines posted on the EITP website. Have also been thinking about how to include examples of children with diagnoses, but without delays in case examples used in training. Benny reiterated the importance of helping people shift their mindset about providing services to children not exhibiting delays. He mentioned a piece he heard on public radio about lead and wonders if there are ways we can partner to let people know about early intervention opportunities. 
  6. Telehealth Workgroup Update
    Meghan Burke prepared a report for Council members. She and Benny plan to meet soon to address next steps. She mentioned that equity has been a concern in regard to access to telehealth. EI Clearinghouse received a small grant to lend materials to families to enhance this access. They have had 119 requests so far, but they do not have that level of equipment. 62 families currently waiting. Many of the requests have come from urban families who speak Spanish. Lauren Little at Rush received a research grant that also provides access to technology. This is helpful for families in CFC#9 service area. Clearinghouse is working to facilitate connections. Benny shared that they will be re-engaging the larger workgroup soon now that so much progress has been made. Amy asked about the possibility of the use of telehealth continuing outside of the current circumstances. Ann has requested information from legislative contacts about possible legislation but has not yet heard back. She will share when she knows more. Benny shared that some insurance companies are starting to limit telehealth reimbursement for out of network providers. Brenda mentioned that additional funding may need to be explored to improve equitable access to technology. Amy Z. will share a contact with Meghan that may be able to address technology challenges. 
  7. Preschool Development Grant (PDG) and Governor's Office Updates
    Lori Orr would like to present a crosswalk for the various initiatives but thinks that the PN3 agenda presentation should precede that.
  8. Prenatal to Three (PN3) Initiative
    Simone Santiago started by thanking participants who participated in developing the PN3 agenda. Now it is time to move past development to implementation. She emphasized the critical lack of services during the birth to three time period. PN3 is intended to address this gap. She will provide materials to Council members after the call so that they have details on this initiative. Early intervention is an important part of this work. Agenda has four goals and eight strategies centered around improving services to young children. Initial wins and progress were reviewed. PN3 Coalition will be instrumental in implementing plans. Have aligned this work with other statewide efforts such as Funding Commission and PDG B-5. Simone asked the Council to think about how they can assist with advancing the agenda. Nisha asked about EI's involvement in these efforts as they move forward and what they will be tracking. Simone responded that there are opportunities for involvement and that impact indicators will show what is being tracked. Nisha asked about how IL's plan fits with the national roadmap. Simone said that there are both similarities and differences in the efforts, but IL has some pieces that they hope to examine more in depth.
    Benny suggested that a separate meeting be held to think about alignment and potential support opportunities. Other members expressed support for this idea. Amy Z. made a motion that the Council have a special meeting open to the public to learn more about the PN3 efforts. Lori seconded. Motion passed. Brenda will be back in touch with details. 
  9. Funding Commission
    Ann reported that she has been involved in some of the efforts to develop recommendations. More information available on the GOECD website. Amy Zimmerman asked if Ann feels early intervention's needs are being considered in these discussions. Ann shared that some needs have been identified. Benny shared some other aspects that need to be considered, e.g. serving more lead-exposed children, providing reflective supervision, for truly adequate funding to be obtained for early intervention. We should be thinking about both expanded caseloads and system improvements. Nisha emphasized the importance of diverse opinions being represented in these efforts.
  10. Illinois Early Intervention Principles
    Brenda reviewed the discussion that had occurred at the last Council meeting. Brenda acknowledged that concerns were raised about the word transdisciplinary after the meeting. Benny felt that the vote had already been taken during the last meeting and questioned why this was being revisited. Brenda stated there is hesitancy to leave this word in given the changing nature of the research around this model, so she thought it might be appropriate to engage the group in a lengthier discussion. Margaret asked for clarification as to why this word is problematic and needs re-examination. Christy shared that the role release aspect of transdisciplinary practice is concerning without more structure around how it is done. Also, desired coaching practices are not necessarily emphasized in the transdisciplinary approach. Amy Santos weighed in on background of transdisciplinary, recognizing that it is a loaded term. She suggested focusing on the aspects of teaming and collaboration that are desired rather than a particular approach to service delivery. Nisha motioned to reopen the discussion of Principle 5. Christy seconded. Motion passed. A request was made to have materials for suggested changes shared prior to the next meeting. Brenda asked that these be sent out in December to give people time to review. The principles will be discussed again in January.
  11. Ongoing Updates
    a) Illinois Medicaid Program Advanced Cloud Technology
    Ann shared that progress is status quo. Still addressing challenges identified through audit. Still enrolling providers and matching legacy and current systems. Nisha asked about need for providers to re-enroll in system after three years. Is this necessary or is there an update? Ann will check as she thought the system sent a notification when this was required.
    b) Cornerstone
    Ann reported that the RFP is currently posted. Will close on October 8th. More information to come soon. After close, proposals have to be reviewed and may need to be negotiated. Brenda asked about a timeline. Ann anticipates this to take some time but does not yet have the specifics given that she doesn't know what is being proposed. DoIT will be involved given the nature of the proposal. Ann is hopeful that we will have something to use by July 2021. Amy Z. asked for link so that people can check out RFP.
    c) Bureau
    No new information. Still have one vacancy.
    d) Digital Signatures
    DHS procurement is moving on obtaining a system for this. Ann is hopeful that this will be available soon. Benny reiterated the importance of including options for providers to use this system as well. Ann shared that the focus is on information that flows between CFCs, providers, and families. It could potentially be expanded moving forward. Benny is concerned about waiting for the new data system to be implemented before proceeding with this option since it is such a burning need. Ann clarified that the electronic signature work will not be held up based on the data system. Benny is asking about the potential to use the same system for other provider-specific paperwork, e.g. HIPAA privacy procedures, reports, etc. Ann will check on this and reach out to him if she needs more information.
    e) Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup Recommendations
    No written report has been developed. Ann hopes to have an update by the next Council meeting. Several of the recommended actions have taken place. Benny asked when the last update was provided. Ann says it may have been October of last year. It may be good to share the recommendations with the whole Council since many new members have started. Requests for it to be posted were also made. Ann reminded everyone that these are recommendations for the Bureau to consider. 
  12. Council Workgroups
    Brenda discussed what workgroups exist or are needed.
    Lead workgroup wrapping up soon.
    Fiscal workgroup has not met recently. Unclear about current membership of this group. Benny is chair. Brenda has had a few other members reach out to participate. Brenda will ask Jenni to send list of current members and Brenda is asking Benny to reach out to folks to see if they are interested in continued participation. She also asked him to consider diversity of representation when recruiting new members.
    Telehealth workgroup is chaired by Meghan and Benny. What are the ongoing needs for this group to address? Legislation was one item that has already been mentioned. Jenni can send an updated list for this as well with a request for chairs to reach out to members again.
    Communications workgroup would be a new workgroup for the Council. Christy and Nisha have been asked to co-chair this workgroup. They will get list and are asked to reach out to potential members. Primary charge will be to consider how we communicate information with system and non-system stakeholders. Nisha suggested that they continue to address items identified in the Reopen workgroup. Benny said that a pressing priority is quick communication with families and how technology can support this. Brenda is hopeful that the new data system affords some opportunities as well. Christy would also like to consider how we continue access to the Council meeting moving forward. Amy Z. noted that communication with primary referrals sources is also critical.
    A need for an Equity and Access workgroup was also identified. No chair has been identified as of yet. Let Brenda know if you are interested in chairing or participating. What would this group's charge be? Amy Z. says that hurdles continue to exist in enrolling children under 1. Benny said that items identified in the PN3 agenda, e.g. specialized teams, may fit with this workgroup as well. He is willing to be on this workgroup. Angel said that addressing barriers to accessing services is important. Parents and legislators may need to be involved in these efforts as well. Lori said that items from other system efforts may be important to consider as well to ensure alignment.
    Christy asked about the frequency of workgroup meetings. It has varied, but usually groups meet at least once between Council meetings.
    * Reopen IL EI workgroup will now be led by the Council. Not sure about the length of needed involvement for this workgroup and it has a variety of members. Stay tuned for named co-chairs and ongoing membership. Amy says that she is concerned about this shift in responsibility and would like clarification on the impact of the change. Ann shared that it is primarily shifting due to work slowing down. Amy Z. encouraged all Council members to get involved with at least one workgroup.
  13. Annual Performance Report/SSIP
    Ann reported that OSEP did not contact us about any concerns with our SSIP. Final APR has been posted. OSEP has proposed changes to APR and SSIP reporting moving forward. These changes would impact the February 2022 submission. Some of the changes are related to more demographic reporting and more stakeholder engagement, particularly from families. May also be changing to a six year cycle for the State Performance Plan (SPP). We are also considering some changes to our APR reporting so that we are using a single month for reporting on most of our indicators. This is more consistent with what other states are doing and provides more of an opportunity to recognize good work that is occurring. Bureau will need Council input on revisions to the SPP.
    OSEP also announced their plans for implementing the Differentiated Monitoring System. It will now be a five-year cycle. We are in Cohort 2 which will do their prework in 2021 with a visit likely in 2022. We know that COVID has impacted our performance on all of our indicators. We have not heard of any allowances that OSEP is making due to unprecedented circumstances. Ann may learn more during the Improving Data Improving Outcomes conference this month.
    We are making a change to our Family Outcomes Survey data collection this year. Susan Connor shared more details about the system we will be using this year. Survey will be delivered electronically with quicker delivery and more opportunities for follow up. Ann also shared a bit of information about a technical assistance effort for Family Outcomes that is focused on equity.
  14. Review/Approval of 2021 Council Dates
    Benny made a motion to approve the dates as proposed. Lynnette seconded. Motion passed.
  15. Adjournment
    Angel motioned to adjourn. Lynnette seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 12:59 pm.

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.