What is Deaf-Blindness?
The term “deaf-blind” can be misleading. It implies the complete absence of vision or hearing. In reality, only about 6% of children who are deaf-blind are without any sight or hearing. While most individuals have some usable vision and/or hearing, no two children with deaf-blindness are alike. Sensory limitations are frequently associated with other disabilities. Individuals diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome, and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, for example, may also have vision and hearing losses that can go unnoticed due to the prominence of their other disabilities.
The loss of vision and hearing, even minor losses, can greatly impact development and learning. Children who are deaf-blind must be taught using strategies that are responsive to their individual sensory, cognitive, and physical skills. We encourage you to explore other areas of this website to gain more specific information about best educational practices for individuals who are deaf-blind.
Visit the National Center on Deaf-Blindness to learn more about the different ways Deaf-Blindness can be defined.
Who Qualifies for Deaf-Blind Services?
Children and youth (birth through 21 years of age) who are deaf-blind and on the Deaf-Blind Census are eligible for services from the Montana Deaf-Blind Project. To see if your child or student qualifies for services, please complete the Montana Deaf-Blind Census Form.
What is Technical Assistance?
The Montana Deaf-Blind project offers technical assistance (TA) for children and youth who are deaf-blind to parents and families, educational personnel, and service providers from state and community agencies.
TA may include:
- Professional development in the form of workshops, trainings, and conferences targeting specifics such as:
- Early identification and intervention
- Literacy and communication
- Assessment and planning
- Post-secondary transition
- Implementation of strategies that result in systems change
- Information and resource dissemination
- Support in the development of collaborative partnerships between families, service providers, and local education agencies.
- Individualized consultation to teams on a specific topic of need
What is the Deaf-Blind Census?
Since 1986, all state Deaf-Blind projects submit an annual National Child Count of Children and Youth who are Deaf-Blind (Birth-21). This census represents the most comprehensive registry of children with dual sensory loss. The registry provides critical information that helps inform the needs and activities provided by state projects, identifies research and professional development needs, as well as assists in targeting product development and dissemination. Visit the National Center on Deaf-Blindness to learn more ways the National Child Count matters.