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 25 of 72

Children who are deafblind bring unique challenges to educational settings and specialized strategies that address communication, sensory, learning, and social needs are important components of their appropriate education. However, deafblindness is a low-incidence disability and such specialized and intensive services are not always available. This article describes the collaborative and evolutionary approaches undertaken in Utah to ensure that children and youth in the state truly have the opportunity to maximize their potential. Overviewed in this article are a brief history of statewide services provided to children and youth who are deafblind, current educational services, training for interveners, the state-recognized endorsement in deafblindness, and the University of Utah Deafblind Teacher Education program. History Prior to 1995, services for children who are deafblind in the state of Utah were limited to a federal deafblind technical assistance grant and an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired with training and expertise in deafblindness who served students at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (USDB). However, a federal grant obtained by Utah State University providing interveners to young children from birth to age three with deafblindness created much enthusiasm for expansion of the Collaboration to Ensure Effective Education of Students who are Deafblind Catherine Nelson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Deafblind Program, Department of Special Education, University of Utah, Cathy.nelson@utah.edu Debbie Sanders, Deaf-Blind Teacher Specialist, Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, debbies@usdb.org 26

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