Utah Deaf-Blind Endorsement

Utah Deaf-Blind
Professionalizing the Field
AER International Conference
Leslie Buchanan, M.Ed
Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
Catherine Nelson, Ph.D.
University of Utah
IDEA: Deaf-blindness is a condition in which the
combination of hearing and visual losses in children cause
"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" [ 34 CFR 300.7 ( c )
(2), 1999] or multiple disabilities.
Unique Needs
● Limited access to sensory
● Limitations on incidental learning
● Impacts development of
communication, movement,
concepts, and sense of self and
body image
● Impacts formation of attachments
and social relationships
Unique Challenges
Combined disabilities
require specialized
educational strategies that
address communication,
sensory, learning, and
special needs.
Utah’s System of Services
● Comprehensive system, build over time
● Supported by state educational funds and
federal technical assistance and training
● Around 130 children, birth-22
● Each has a deaf-blind specialist on IEP/IFSP
● Intervener, when team determines needed
for FAPE
Why endorsement important in Utah
● Deaf-blind specialists had much training, most of
which was provided by the Utah Deaf-Blind
Project, but nothing
officially recognized
● Took university courses
when offered so foundation was there when
endorsement in place
Process to develop the endorsement
● Role of advisory board to federal deaf-blind
● Input from Utah Deaf-Blind Project
● Encouragement from Utah Schools for the
Deaf and the Blind
● Parents wrote letters
● Utah State Office of Education
● Outline of possible coursework developed
for grants and other projects reviewed
Utah Endorsement
● Existing licensure in Special Education
required- vision, hearing, severe disabilities,
early childhood, or mild/moderate
● Aligned with CEC Deafblind Teacher
● http://www.cec.sped.org/Standards/SpecialEducator-Professional-Preparation/CECInitial-and-Advanced-Specialty-Sets
Two universities offer coursework
● University of Utah - mostly on site
● Utah State University - online
● Reciprocity between the two universities
University of Utah Program
● Initially, no funding
● Built on existing coursework offered through
state funded Multi-University Consortium
Vision and Hearing programs based at
University of Utah
● Infused DB content into existing coursework
● Added deafblind specific coursework/ dept
U of U Deafblind Specialization
SPED 6450 Teaching Children who are
SPED 6455 Advanced Assessment and
Instructional Design for Learners who are
SPED 6465 Fundamental os O & M for
Teachers of Children who are Deafblind
U Of U Specialization in Deafblind
SPED 5960: A to Z Braille: Uncontracted Braille
for Reading Partners
SPED 6430 Ocular Disorders and Examination
Techniques for Low Vision
ASL 1010 American Sign Language
SPED 6520 Audiology for Teachers of the Deaf
and Hard of Hearing
U of U Deafblind Specialization
SPED 6260 Transdisciplinary Approaches in
Severe Disabilities
SPED 6960 Medical and Health Issues in Early
SPED 6452 Practicum I
SPED 6750: Practicum II Student Teaching
Student Financial Support
● State grant received for three years ($1,300
per semester)
● Federal grant submitted
Advanced Deaf-Blind Class
Collaboration to meet local needs and CEC
Tanni Anthony- Play-based Assessment
Jan van Dijk- question and answer
Dennis Lolli- O & M
Special Assignments
Arts assignment
Utah Deaf-Blind Project
● Infused arts project into new deaf-blind grant
● Preparing students for college, career and
community involvement
Strength of student work building
future capacity
● Former students are resource
to university program
● Helen Keller Fellow, did
internship with NCDB, now
working on national intervener
modules and other national
Additional capacity building
● Students considering going on for
considering going on to PHD
● Strengthen state system and local LEAs
Beyond specialists
Why important
Resource for others in the country
Involvement in Teacher of Deaf-Blind
Topical Work Group - build national capacity
Questions? Sharing of experiences
and challenges.

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