Division on Visual Impairments

VIDBE Quarterly Volume 59(5)

A quarterly newsletter from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments containing practitioner tips for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other professionals.

Issue link: http://dvi.uberflip.com/i/422067

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Page 19 of 72

Experiences that occur during the earliest years of life critically impact children's abilities to learn, move, and interact with others. This is especially true for children with severe sensory and multiple disabilities, for whom bonding, communication, incidental learning, social interaction, motor development and mobility are particularly challenging (Malloy et al., 2009). A National Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Network, comprised of individual and multi-state deaf-blind projects and the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, exists to help families of these children improve early developmental outcomes. However, the expertise and resources available through this network are not often accessed during the first three years of life. For the past 30 years, the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) and its predecessors have conducted an annual count of children birth through 21 years of age with deaf-blindness. Over the five year span (2009-2013) the average number of children identified with combined vision and hearing loss under age three across all states and territories has been 582, which represents 6.2% of the total number. Even more significant is that on average only 76 infants under one year of age have been identified across all states and territories. This represents less than 1% of the total of children, birth through 21, identified in the National Deaf-Blind Child Count. During Using Evidence-based Strategies and Technical Assistance to Improve Identification of Infants and Toddlers with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss Barbara Purvis, National Center on Deaf-Blindness, Project Specialist Barbara.purvis@hknc.org Mark Schalock, National Center on Deaf-Blindness, Data and Evaluation Coordinator schalom@wou.edu 20

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