January 14, 2021 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00am to 1:00pm


Due to the current pandemic, this meeting will be held by Zoom teleconferencing. To participate, please utilize the link below provided by EI Training to register for the meeting.


Once you register, you will be provided with an immediate confirmation, that will indicate Zoom participation information will be forthcoming. You will receive an email with specific access instructions and your unique Zoom link closer to the meeting date.


  • Call to Order
  • Introduction of Council Members
  • Approval of October 1, 2020 Draft Meeting Report
  • DEC/CEC/ITCA Joint Position Statement: Service Coordination in EI
  • Re-Open EI Workgroup Update
  • Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Communication Workgroup
  • Other Council Workgroups
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth to 5
  • Funding Commission
  • Illinois Early Intervention Principles
  • Local Interagency Council Report
  • Ongoing Updates
    • IMPACT
    • Cornerstone/EI Data Management System
    • Bureau
    • Digital Signatures
    • Service Delivery Approaches (SDA) Workgroup Recommendations
  • Annual Performance Report (APR)
  • State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)
  • Adjournment of Meeting

Meeting Report


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Kisha Davis, IL Dept. of Human Services, Bureau of Subsidy Mgmt. (Child Care)
  • 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
  • Jennifer Gentile, IL Dept. of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Tracy Gunderson, Provider Representative
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • 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, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative


  • Kelly Cunningham, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Vicki Hodges, ISBE, McKinney-Vento, Homeless Representative
  • Rosie Perez, Parent Representative
  • Becca Trevino, Parent Representative
  • Angel Williams, IL Dept. of Child and Family Services
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health

Council Packet Contents

  • Agenda
  • Draft Council Meeting Report - October 1, 2020 Meeting
  • Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Communications Workgroup Update
  • Re-Open Workgroup Update
  • Final Illinois Early Intervention Principles
  • FY2020 Annual Local Interagency Council Summary Document
  • Early Intervention Program Caseload - September 2020 - November 2020
  1. Call to Order

    • Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:03 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

    • Benny made a motion to approve the minutes. Christy seconded. Motion passed. Suggestion was made to clarify in future notes which Amy is speaking since we now have two Council members with the same spelling of their first names.
  4. DEC/CEC/ITCA Joint Position Statement: Service Coordination in Early Intervention

    • Susan Connor shared information about Illinois' ongoing efforts to support CFCs and Service Coordinators. She highlighted a couple of new support opportunities and shared information on two new national efforts to recognize service coordination as a critical part of early intervention service delivery. Susan reminded Council members that while the national Knowledge and Skills were not developed when Illinois began its efforts with the service coordination stakeholder group, there is nice alignment. Now that these national pieces are available, our future efforts will focus on tightening this alignment. Activities of the service coordination stakeholder group were reviewed. Highlights (knowledge and skills, professional growth sought, motivators for growth/recognition, trends, and next steps) from the stakeholder survey were also shared. Council members were asked for additional ideas about how this information might inform system efforts. Brenda asked DeeDee and Chuck if this resonates with what they hear. Both hear similar things from their service coordinators and have used this information to create opportunities within their CFCs. Christy is grateful that the role of service coordinators is being highlighted. Amy Santos asked a follow up question about how child development is defined within the context of these documents. Susan says it is primarily focused on birth to three for IL's work, but it could be broader in national efforts as some states cover birth to five. Benny appreciated reading the materials and thinks these identify some calls to action and ways that our system can think about better supporting our service coordinators. He also noted that this fits nicely with some of the fiscal workgroup's priorities. Lori also saw alignment with some of the items identified in the PN3 agenda. 
  5. Re-Open Workgroup Update

    • Dee Dee Lowery and Lori Orr shared that the group has met five additional times since the last Council meeting. The group continues to focus on resources and support for the field. The workgroup advises the Bureau as issues arise. The workgroup has also addressed working to help physicians understand that our system is still open. They are still working on a document that addresses how EI has responded to the various phases within the Governor's plan. Current issues are addressing vaccines, authorization changes, and communication. Group has emphasized the importance of keeping all stakeholders informed, reinforcing safety measures, and developing a plan for safely increasing in-person service delivery. Brenda commended the group for their willingness to tackle really challenging issues. Amy Zimmerman asked if the Bureau could help with early interventionists understanding of where they fall in the vaccination pool. Ann reported that Sessy Nyman, who is coordinating the DHS efforts, spoke to the group this week to identify needs and share information. There is a town hall addressing this tomorrow and Ann hopes to provide some information in future weekly updates as well. Lori shared that there are challenges with keeping information current since it changes rapidly and varies based on the county. Benny encouraged someone to post the link to the town hall in chat, so participants can submit questions. He also asked what information providers can expect to get when reaching out to their public health department. Ann verified that she currently anticipates that early interventionists will be in vaccination group 1B. The local public health department could provide information about what may be necessary to vaccinate them. Tracy raised that those in private practice have been able to receive immunizations during 1A.
  6. Lead Poisoning Eligibility Workgroup Update

    • Amy Zimmerman reported that the pandemic has created some challenges around lead screening. She would like to see the workgroup's recommendations adopted by early intervention so that they can be incorporated into practice. Amy would like Dr. Epley to speak at the next Council meeting to share what they have learned so far. The elements and outreach components need to be highlighted more broadly. She is also concerned about the larger field's awareness of the new eligibility option and use, so some planning around this could be important. Ann says that some of this will be covered in manual and handbook updates. There are also some efforts to assist with greater understanding of eligibility options. Benny asked about opportunities to align ourselves with a campaign to raise awareness and what the timelines are for updating of the manuals. Ann will follow up with DHS communication to assess opportunities and hopes that manual updates will be completed soon. Amy Z thinks it is important to emphasize the new lead eligibility option in any communication that goes out. She emphasized that Council members can play an important role in information dissemination.
  7. Telehealth Workgroup Update

    • Meghan Burke reported that most of their information was provided in their report, but she wanted to provide a quick update on the Clearinghouse's device lending program. They have had 182 inquiries for devices. 53 families are currently using devices. 12 families have returned devices to be used by others. New devices have been ordered to reduce the number of families waiting. Amy Zimmerman reported that there is interest and activity around supporting LVV use beyond the pandemic. She believes that amendments to the EI act will need to be made. Some workgroup members and Start Early have provided feedback to HFS around the pandemic rules that have allowed the use of LVVs. They have asked what pieces would need to be adopted for ongoing use of LVVs. It may be good for the Bureau to provide input as well. Ann shared that she has reached out to DHS legislation for additional information about how the Bureau can be of support and the status of any current legislation. Nisha asked for clarification about next steps for administrative rules. Amy Z. said they are currently waiting to hear what is next. Nisha asked whether feedback from licensed professionals has been solicited to ensure there would be no conflicts with Practice Acts. Amy Z. said that the public comment period for a proposed rule would be an opportunity for that kind of feedback, but there can be some exploration of the Acts done ahead of time. Amy Z and Benny reiterated that the hope right now is to use broad language while making sure EI is included. Additional specifics may be better addressed within the next telehealth workgroup meeting. 
  8. Communications Workgroup Update

    • Nisha Sanghvi and Christy Morrison reported that the workgroup has met two times. They continue to encourage all stakeholders to go to existing sources for information and to make sure that needed information is available at these sources. They are also encouraging the use of the DHS question email and checking in with CFCs. They would like to address ongoing communication with primary referral sources, particularly physicians. They have also suggested adding GOECD and DHS website links to Provider Connections' website. They will meet again in February. One request of the Council has been to examine the feasibility of continuing Zoom Council meetings in the future. Brenda has no new information about this yet. Another request has been posting a listing for who is involved in existing workgroups. While not all members may want personal information shared, their hope is that co-chairs of each workgroup could be listed. They are also hoping that as the new data system is developed, it includes efforts to support communication with all stakeholders. They also want to make sure that any new emails that come in through the questions email are responded to or are addressed in weekly updates/ongoing system communications. Ann shared that these are currently being reviewed to determine what needs to be emphasized in updates and or addressed through the development of additional resources. Benny asked if a section of the Council webpage could be dedicated to workgroup minutes/summaries. He is also wondering about how Partners' websites can be organized to make it easier for people to sift through all the information that has been generated during COVID.
  9. Council Workgroups

    • Brenda announced that Kisha will be leading the Council's PN3 coordination efforts. Angel has agreed to chair the equity and access workgroup. She is still developing membership and next steps. The fiscal workgroup is also slated to begin meeting again. Benny and Karen will be chairing and have requested some data to inform their efforts.
  10. Preschool Development Grant (PDG) and Governor's Office Updates

    • Lori Orr shared that an educational cooperative and Early Choices are engaged in efforts to address inclusion. They are specifically thinking about community inclusion in a variety of early care programs. They are coordinating Pyramid efforts as well to support inclusion. The Early Intervention Training Program is part of a technical assistance effort to embed this work in their trainings. Gateways is working to create an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant database to assist with accessing this type of support. They are expanding support for reflective groups for mental health consultants and social emotional consultants through this effort as well.
  11. Funding Commission
    • Ann reported the Funding Commission continues to focus on what funding is necessary to address equitable access to high quality early childhood services. Meetings have slowed as town halls have been initiated. She anticipates that the Council will need to be involved once Commission recommendations are made. Amy Z. suggested sharing the Funding Commission link in the chat for all participants. Commission recommendations will be available in March. Ann shared that the Commission is suggesting consolidation of EC services into a single entity and that it is unclear how that will impact early intervention. She also encouraged those involved in early intervention to participate in opportunities for input. Donna's impression from participating in this work is that EI and ECSE have complex funding structures that require more attention and understanding before sound recommendations can be made. Benny acknowledged that while we have good information about what we pay, this information is not fully reflective of all the costs that would be associated with a truly equitable system. Brenda asked what needed to be done/shared for the group to make sound recommendations. Ann says it really depends on what is seen as missing and what still needs to be known. Benny re-emphasized the importance of stakeholders remaining engaged and thinking about how these efforts are aligned and implemented.
  12. Illinois Early Intervention Principles

    • Brenda thanked those who had worked on the document that was shared. Brenda reiterated that transdisciplinary has actually been in the principles since 2001. Inclusion in the 2020 revision reflected this acknowledgement. Chelsea provided information about how the document was created and the suggestions for potential revisions. Christy and DeeDee suggested adoption of option three as it reflects the priorities identified by the group. Lori shared that she was concerned that many parents misunderstood what was trying to be achieved by the revision of the Principles as the revision wasn't intended to change our service delivery model. Consensus was obtained that they would begin working from the third suggestion. A variety of suggestions were made and discussed resulting in a revised fifth principle. Amy Z. then motioned to approve the revised principles as proposed today. Lynnette seconded. Motion passed. Nisha thanked those who provided input and asked that those who are invested in providing input continue to reach out to their representatives. Christy and Benny highlighted the many places where changes to eliminating "transdisciplinary" may need to be considered, e.g. SDA recommendations, Provider Handbook, etc.
  13. Local Interagency Council Report

    • Brenda asked Amy Z. if it would be ok to move this to the April meeting. Amy is fine with that and asked that we also revisit the PN3 activities. Brenda then reminded Council members that there has been a workgroup created to address this task.
  14. Ongoing Updates

    1. Illinois Medicaid Program Advanced Cloud Technology
      • No new information to report beyond continuing to support these efforts.CornerstoneAnn reported that the submissions for a new data system are being reviewed. Hoping to make announcements related to this soon. Ann is still hoping that we can have something new in place for the new fiscal year.
    2. Bureau
      • No new Bureau staffing changes. Ann has a new boss, Bethany Patten, Associate Director of the Office of Early Childhood in the Division of Family and Community Services.
    3. Digital Signatures
      • Still working on a federal master contract to obtain this. Ann needs some numbers to finalize the forms required.
    4. Service Delivery Approaches Workgroup Recommendation
      • Ann has not had an opportunity to update progress towards this but will think about how the changes to the Principles impact this.
  15. Annual Performance Report (APR)/State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)

    • An reported that the report is due February 1. We need to describe how the pandemic impacted our data and performance. We will see this particularly impactful for indicators that use a full year of reporting. Hoping to have a draft report for members to review soon. SSIP will be due April 1st. Next year we will need to submit revised targets for the State Performance Plan (SPP). Ann hopes to bring information about those proposals in October. There are changes to the reporting format on the horizon. We need to also report on our longstanding compliance. Ann is encouraged that we might be able to clear some of that in the upcoming report. Brenda clarified that we have some indicators where we select the target and some where the federal government requires 100% compliance. Brenda suggested a fuller discussion of the indicators in July so that they are prepared for target-setting in October. Benny asked about the timely service indicator and how that was impacted by the pandemic. Ann provided some examples of issues that contributed to delays. More detail will be provided within the narrative of our submission.
  16. Adjournment

    • Lynnette motioned to adjourn. Nisha seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 1:03 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.