Access, Access, Access! for Children with Deaf-blindness

Students with deaf-blindness present unique challenges to the educational system. Deaf-blindness is a disability of access. The two primary senses used to access information have been compromised. With the dual sensory loss being multiplicative rather than additive in nature, children with deaf-blindness require highly individualized educational support needs, such as Interveners. This presentation will discuss the role of the Intervener in supporting students with deaf-blindness. This presentation is about supporting students with deaf-blindness in an inclusive setting through the support of Interveners at school. Anne Sullivan is probably the most well known Intervener in the world. Students with deaf-blindness are at a major disadvantage because their dual sensory loss limits the information they are able to access in their environment for communication. Interveners help students access the world around them in order to learn, communicate, and establish relationships, as well as bringing meaning to the world they live in. The presenter is a parent of a child with deaf-blindness and profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. The parent will share her story of advocacy and the difference it made in keeping her child in an inclusive setting and being the first in their State to have “Intervener language” written into an IEP. By attending this presentation, participants will be able to: – explain the educational impact of deaf-blindness on learning outcomes – define “Intervener” – summarize the role of the Intervener in providing effective intervention – state the laws or sections of the law that support children with deaf-blindness and Intervener supports – advocate for Intervener supports as a civil right, as well as IDEA rights – identify the sections of the IEP where Intervener supports would be addressed – locate resources on deaf-blindness – locate resources on Interveners (and Intervener trainings)

Sookyung Shin