National Joint Powers Alliance® (NJPA) is the fiscal host for the Regional Low Incidence Project for Economic Development Regions 5 & 7. Low Incidence (LI) covers eight disability areas: Physically Impaired (PI), Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH), Blind/ Visually Impaired (BVI), Autism (ASD), Deaf/Blind (D/B), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (DCD), and Other Health Disabilities (OHD) – those disabilities that occur in low numbers compared to the total student population.
The purpose of the Low Incidence Project is to provide free, appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE), along with equitable services for students with low incidence disabilities throughout Regions 5 & 7 using the most cost-effective format to meet the individual needs of the students. An indirect service model is used to allow for immediate access to highly qualified licensed educators to provide support to staff providing the services to students with low incidence disabilities.
Providing these services to address geographic inequity has been historically difficult. The Regional Project serves to minimize the impact of regional differences and staffing patterns in the low incidence disability areas that have high intensities of need combined with difficulties in attracting and maintaining staff. The LI Project was initiated by MDE (MN Department of Education) in 1980 to increase the availability of indirect services (e.g., consultation, training, etc.) to better meet low incidence needs, especially in greater Minnesota.
Low Incidence Project Services
The LI Regional Project provides a number of services, including:
- Coordination of regional low incidence planning committees
- Development of strategic planning for each low incidence disability
- Development of common staff development plans to address needs across disabilities (low and high) in the region, as well as within the State
- Addressing common assessment and program needs across the region
- Planning for consideration and use of assistive technology
NJPA will continue to provide services according to needs. The Low Incidence Project continues to assist districts with compliance with new legislation, as well as provide training opportunities in those areas.
Regional Comprehensive System for Personnel Development (RCSPD)
National Joint Powers Alliance is fiscal host to the RCSPD project. This program funds training activities throughout Regions 5 & 7 to allow a larger audience the opportunity to participate in necessary training to enhance the knowledge and skills of the districts’ staff. Also, regional staff work directly with state consultants to develop the most effective programs for the needs expressed and to insure efficiency with “common threads” throughout the State. This project offers training opportunities for educators, parents, administrators and other interested people who live or work with a child (or children) with a disability.
The regional emphasis was placed on three areas:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
Gain a better understanding of the various levels of disability, assessment, identification, behavior, intervention, transition, etc.
- Assistive Technology
Ensure educators understand and use technology to assist with student learning.
- Competitive Grants
Allow Special Education Directors, Coordinators & Network Teams an opportunity to request funds for training in a variety of disability areas based on an annual plan as well as address identified needs throughout the two regions.
Additional funds have been also been allocated to activities such as:
- Regions 5 & 7 Low Vision Clinic
- Winter Camp for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students
- ASL Skill Development
- Lake Carlos Environmental Camp for Visually Impaired
Region 5 & 7 Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) Project
Community of Practice Newsletters
Developmental Cognitive Disability
Program Quality Indicators
Assistive Technology Staff Resources
- Math Resources
- Literacy Resources
- Early Childhood Resources
- AT Due Process Resources
- Switch Access Resources
- Writing Resources
- Transition Resources
Physical & Other Health Disabilities Resources
- Parent Resources
- CHARGE Syndrome
- MHE Fact Sheet 1
- MHE Fact Sheet 2
- Parent Interview
- SMA Fact Sheet
- TBI Fact Sheet
- Transition Guide For Students With Physical Impairments
- Transition Guide Learner Info
- Transition Planning Checklist 14-16
- Transition Planning Checklist 17-18
- Transition Planning Checklist 19-21
Regional Low Incidence Facilitator