Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) is a national effort to provide language acquisition resources for parents and guardians of young children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) and their families.

In December 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Michigan’s LEAD-K bill into law as Public Act 256 (PA 256). This legislation provides for creating language acquisition resources for parents and guardians of children who are DHH, ages 0-5, by August 2025. These resources will include important milestones and assessment tools families can use to assess their children’s language acquisition needs.

MDE-LIO has been given the oversight and funding to carry out the requirements of PA 256 (American Sign Language Literacy Resource). We have assembled a committee and partners who will be working with us on this initiative. More information about meetings, progress reports, milestones, and data will be posted here as it becomes available.

Read the legislation: Public Act 256 [PDF]

Download the December 13 webinar PowerPoint presentation: Information Sharing and Updates on Public Act 256 (LEAD-K) [PDF]

Get connected: Michigan LEAD-K Facebook group

Implementing PA 256 in Michigan

Below is a proposed timeline and activities for implementing PA 256 in Michigan:

  • October/November 2023: Fiscal agent established.
  • October 2023: List of potential advisory committee members finalized (advocates and professionals within the field of education for students who are DHH and parents of children who are DHH).
  • December 2023: Project coordinator and key roles established; MDE-LIO conducts informational virtual town hall meeting.
  • December 2023: Michigan Department of Education (MDE) meets with advisory committee to firm up timelines, roles, and requirements.
  • January – June 2024: Committee gathers information and input from stakeholders and experts (regional, statewide, and out-of-state).
  • June – December 2024: Committee reviews and formalizes information, seeking follow-up input where needed.
  • January 2025: Committee makes recommendations.
  • February/March 2025: MDE reviews recommendations and takes any changes back to committee.
  • April 2025: MDE works with local schools and intermediate school districts (ISDs) on assessments and tools for assessing the language and literacy development of children, ages 0–5, who are DHH.