Greater Minnesota Psychological Assessments for Students Who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing & DeafBlind (GM Launch PAD)
GM Launch PAD is a program that provides culturally affirmative psychological assessments to students (ages 0-21) who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind, who live in Greater Minnesota (outside the 7 county metro area) and attend a Minnesota public school. This program is funded by a grant from Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
Through this program, psychologists who have training and experience working with students with hearing loss and are fluent in American Sign Language travel to the student’s school or county offices to complete the evaluation. Travel costs are financed by grant funds. Medical insurance, educational third party billing, county funding and vocational rehabilitation funding options are also explored in order to cover the costs of psychological testing. In cases where the student does not have insurance or does not have adequate coverage, grant funds are available for financial assistance.
GM Launch Pad is coordinated by Metro ESCU in collaboration with Dr. Nanette McDevitt, Licensed Psychologist and owner of Psychological Advantages, LLC.
Dr. McDevitt is fluent in American Sign Language and a Licensed Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in addition to being a Licensed Psychologist. Her experience includes teaching students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind in grades K-12 at Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD) and District 917. Dr. McDevitt has conducted a wide variety of psychological evaluations at both mental health clinics and schools since 2005.
Dr. McDevitt specializes in assessing students with a wide variety of psychological diagnoses and special education categories including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders.
In addition to Dr. McDevitt, other clinical and school psychologists are sub-contracted to complete psychological assessments for the GM Launch PAD program. All psychologists have training/experience working with students with hearing loss and are fluent in the student’s primary language.
This program offers two levels of service to students, schools and families. On the application, you will see “Full Evaluation” and “Intellectual/Adaptive Only Evaluation.” The information below describes each of these levels of service to help you decide which level to choose.
Intellectual/Adaptive Only Evaluation
For this level of service, the providing psychologist will meet the student at the student’s school or other location near the student’s home (social services office, local Deaf/Hard of Hearing Resource Office) to complete intellectual testing as well as collect adaptive information from the parents/educators. The testing usually requires 1-2 hours.
This level of service is typically appropriate for older students that have had previous testing, but need updated information for various programs and services (such as transitioning to adult social services or post-secondary programming). It is also often requested for older students that move into a district and the district is seeking basic, initial information to develop initial programming with the plan that more thorough testing will be completed in the near future. This type of evaluation does not include parent/student interviews, classroom observations or post evaluation meetings. This level of service is often chosen when schools/families/other agencies need an evaluation completed within a shorter timeline. A written report with testing results is provided.
For this level of service, the providing psychologist travels to the student’s school (or home if special education services are provided in the home) and spends the full day with the student, educators and parents. The psychologist hosts a pre-evaluation meeting in the morning, observes/tests the student for the full day and hosts a post evaluation meeting later in the day to discuss preliminary results/recommendations. Testing may include any of the following areas: clinical observations, diagnostic assessment (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disorders, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, Depressive Disorders, Anxious Disorders etc.) intellectual, memory/learning, social functioning, emotional functioning, behavioral functioning, adaptive functioning, and neuropsychological screenings.
This level of service also offers up to three, 1-hour follow up meetings with the providing psychologist (via phone or phone conference). This type of evaluation also includes a file review of both educational and medical records. A written report including file review, summary of interview data, summary of observational data, summary of testing data, diagnostic information and recommendations is provided.
- The student must receive special education services under the categories Deaf/Hard of Hearing and/or DeafBlind and attend a Minnesota Public School.
- The student must live in Greater Minnesota (outside the 7-county metro area).
Apply for Services
Referrals are welcome from the student (18 or older), parents/legal guardians, school staff, county social workers, or any other professional working with the student. Professionals working with the student must obtain a Release of Information from the student or parents/legal guardian before making a referral.
Note: Applications are no longer accepted for the 2019-20 school year. Please wait until next year to apply for student services again. Thank you!
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