DEAF-BLIND CHILD COUNT
By: Carmen Willings
November 14, 2015
Each December in the United States, the National Center on Deaf-Blindness conducts a deaf-blind report on children identified in each state as deaf-blind. It is the longest running registry of children who are deaf-blind in the world. The purpose of the count is to meet federal grant requirements for state, multi-state, and national technical assistance projects. Additionally it provides a means of collecting data and reporting on the numbers throughout the states. Finally, the information is used to identify research needs in developing personnel preparation programs and in targeting national and state product development and dissemination activities.
To include a child in the count, they must be identified as a child who is deaf-blind. The IDEA 2004 definition states:
"Deaf blindness means concomitant hearing and vision impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness."
Deaf-blindness refers to a combination of hearing and vision loss but most persons who are identified as deaf-blind are not totally blind or totally deaf, but have a range of vision and hearing.
Information Requested in Child Count
The following information is required in the Child-Count
Purpose & Implications
The Child Count intent is to provide a "Snap Shot" count for the year to compare to previous years and note trends. Data collected shows trends toward educational placement and access to general curriculum. States can use this information to ensure that families are provided with access to parent networks and provide educational opportunities and support.
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Due to the nationwide shortage of vision professionals, it can be challenging to locate personnel. Announce a job vacancy on the Job Exchange of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, an online listing of jobs specific to the visual impairment field.