Working with Students with Deaf-Blindness

We’re here to help!

Robin Bliven
Director of Outreach Services

There are many excellent resources and tools available online for parents and educators. We’ve compiled links to those we think may be most valuable to you, or a sample of some of the many resources from larger websites, in hopes that you’ll explore them more.

Scroll down to see

  • Virginia Department of Education resources
  • Other resources and tools for families and professionals
  • Transition resources
  • State and national organizations

Resources from the Virginia Department of Education

Guidelines For Working With Students Who Are Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing In Virginia Public Schools (PDF)

Guidelines for Working with Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (PDF)

VDOE Deaf-Blindness Eligibility (PDF)

Educational Interpreting Services brochure

Guidance on Evaluation and Eligibility for the Special Education Process Appendix A(Sample Forms) (Word)

Training & Technical Assistance Centers (T/TAC)– funded by VDOE, work to improve educational opportunities and contribute to the success of children and youth with disabilities (birth – 22 years).


Virginia Family Special Education Connection: provides a one-stop shop for parents, families, and caregivers of children with special needs; provided by Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Centers.

Virginia’s Resource Guide for Families of Children with Hearing Loss

Guidelines For School Division Policy Regarding Service Dogs In Virginia’s Public Schools (PDF)

Superintendent’s Memo #136-13, May 24, 2013 – regarding interveners and rights of child who is deaf or hard of hearing; see items under “Special Education” heading.

Special Education Frequently Asked Questions – Scroll down on the linked page to see:

  • Orientation and Mobility Questions (024-12)
  • Eligibility – Visual Impairment (028-12)

Other Resources and Tools for Families and Professionals

American Printing House for the Blind (APH) offers:

  • Braille Tales – Participating families receive six free print/braille books per year up to the child’s 6th birthday.
  • Information on Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), a product of the CVI Synergy meetings, contributions from individuals and agencies across the United States and Canada, and APH staff


Center for Parent Information and Resources – provides a checklist of considerations for IEP teams who are working with a student with blindness/visual impairment

Council for Exceptional Children


Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind Videos – The Outreach Programs developed these videos of several young adults with deaf-blindness. Focuses on adult role models. (see menu on right for 9 more videos)

The Communication Matrix Community of Learnersan online community of support for professionals and family members of individuals with complex communication needs.

Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Sensory Impairments, by Ferrell, Bruce, & Luckner, published by University of Florida, 2014

Hadley School for the Blind offers:


Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults

I Can Connect allows every person with combined hearing and vision loss access to modern telecommunication tools and the training necessary to use them

National Center on Deaf-Blindness provides links to numerous resources (some also provided in Spanish) related to:

  • communication (eg. Object communication, symbolic communication, sign language);
  • learning and instruction (eg. Auditory training, calendar systems concept development, daily living skills);
  • education (eg. IEP development);
  • assistive technology (eg. iPads and much more); AND
  • Open Hands, Open Access Intervener Training Modules online– For information on training opportunities/support related to this resource provided through the Virginia Project for Children and Young Adults with Deaf-Blindness, contact or
  • Family Matters” – providing resources and support to families


Perkins School for the Blind offers:


Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides:

Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) Overview

IEP Quality Indicators Checklist for Students with Deafblindness

Issues in Deafblindness; When the IEP is Aligned with the General Curriculum

Usher Syndrome Coalition


National Center on Deaf-Blindnessprovides transition tips for parents, professionals, and students with deaf-blindness, including

Accessing the Dream: Preparing Deaf-Blind Youth for a Self-Determined Life

State & National Organizations & Resources

Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals(ACVREP) – Certification agency for O & M specialists.

Accessible Instructional Materials Center of Virginia (AIM-VA) – accessible core instructional material.

Alexander Graham Bell Association – the world’s largest membership organization promoting the use of spoken language by children and adults with hearing loss.

American Association for the Deaf-Blind

American Council of the Blind

American Foundation for the Blind

American Printing House for the Blind

American Society for Deaf Children – organization of parents who are advocates for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association – professional and consumer resources from ASHA; contains a career FAQ and a glossary of terms.

Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired

Boys Town Center for Hearing Loss in Children – Boys Town National Research Hospital’s resource for parents of babies who have just been diagnosed with a hearing loss or for families of any child who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Center for Parent Information and Resources

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) – general information about children and youth with disabilities.

Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) – provides services designed to support equal educational opportunity and improve the academic achievement of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.

Hands and Voices – established by parents of Colorado Home Intervention Program supporting all communication options for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

IDEA legislation

Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia – Early Intervention (Part C, IDEA) services

National Association of the Deaf – provides services and support for deaf individuals and their families. Includes local chapter links and articles.

National Center on Deafblindness (formerly DeafBlind Link) – works collaboratively with families, federal, state and local agencies to provide technical assistance, information and personnel training. NCDB brings together the resources of three agencies with long histories of expertise in the field of deaf-blindness.

National Family Association for Deaf-Blind (NFADB)

National Federation of the Blind

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

Training and Technical Assistance Centers of VDOE – A community linking people and resources to help children and youth with disabilities.

Virginia Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (VAAPVI)

Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (VDBVI)

Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH)

Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)

Virginia Early Hearing Detection and Intervention(EHDI) Family Support – links parents of children with hearing loss.

Virginia Project for Children and Young Adults with Deaf-Blindness – provides technical assistance, training, distance education and networking information to families, service providers and individuals who are deaf-blind/dual sensory impaired.

VA Relay – enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or speech disabled to communicate by TTY or another assistive telephone device with anyone who uses a standard phone.

Virginia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (VRID) – The Virginia affiliate chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

VI Consortium – Virginia’s preparation program for teachers of students who are blind or visually impaired.


Other Web Directories related to Deaf-Blindness

Hadley School for the Blind Web Directory

Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults