Deaf-Blindness

  • A student with deaf-blindness is one who meets the criteria for deaf-blindness found in the Texas Administrative Code. Students with deaf-blindness typically require an intensive individual education program of special education services that includes specially designed instruction, related services, assistive technology, and/or other services required for the provision of a free appropriate public education. Services are frequently provided in a self-contained instructional setting. A multi-disciplinary team consisting of the student's parents, educational specialists, and medical specialists in the areas in which the student demonstrates problems should work together to plan and coordinate necessary services.

    Texas Administrative Code Chapter 89. Adaptations for Special Populations

    §89.1040. Eligibility Criteria.

    • Eligibility definitions.
      • Deaf-blindness . A student with deaf-blindness is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for deaf-blindness as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(2). In meeting the criteria stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(2), a student with deaf-blindness is one who, based on the evaluations specified in subsections (c)(3) and (c)(12) of this section:
        • meets the eligibility criteria for auditory impairment specified in subsection (c)(3) of this section and visual impairment specified in subsection (c)(12) of this section;
        • meets the eligibility criteria for a student with a visual impairment and has a suspected hearing loss that cannot be demonstrated conclusively, but a speech/language therapist, a certified speech and language therapist, or a licensed speech-language pathologist indicates there is no speech at an age when speech would normally be expected;
        • has documented hearing and visual losses that, if considered individually, may not meet the requirements for auditory impairment or visual impairment, but the combination of such losses adversely affects the student's educational performance; or
        • has a documented medical diagnosis of a progressive medical condition that will result in concomitant hearing and visual losses that, without special education intervention, will adversely affect the student's educational performance.

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004

    § 300.8 Child with a disability.

      • Definitions of disability terms.
        • Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing and visual 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.

    Links:

    Deaf-Blind Project
    The National Information Clearinghouse on Children who are Deaf-Blind

    Texas Deaf-blind Census

    The Texas Education Agency (TEA), Division of Special Education, is required to report annually on individuals, 0-21 years of age, who are deaf-blind in Texas. This report requires a different type of information than the Child Count data mandated under IDEA.  Through the Deaf-blind Census, the Texas Education Agency must annually report:

    • the number of children who meet the criteria for being reported on the Deaf-blind Census served by age, severity, sex, and nature of deaf-blindness; and 
    • the types of services provided and the setting in which the services are provided. 

    Census report forms are usually sent to district special education directors in December or January. They are returned to the Deafblind Specialist at the regional Education Service Center, typically by mid-February.