Part B Information
The distribution of Part B Disability Categories has remained fairly stable over the past 7 years. No significant shifts have occurred. About two-thirds of all the children and youth in Part B have one of 4 designations: Multiple Disability (36.2%), Deaf-Blind (16.5%), Hearing Impaired (10%), or Visually Impaired (5.5%). This distribution has remained essentially unchanged for the past seven years. The designation of Developmentally Delayed has increased.
The percentage of young children, aged 3 to 5, educated in a regular early childhood education setting some portion of the day has doubled in the past decade from less than 15% to 30%. Over 61% of school-age children and youth in special education are being served at least a portion of their day in a regular classroom in their local school. This is consistent across the age span.
One quarter (25%) of children and youth on the 2016 National Deaf-Blind Child Count participate in the regular curriculum as indicated by participating in statewide assessments tied to regular grade level standards. This is up slightly from 2015.
While educational placement does not determine access to the regular curriculum, nearly 74% of students taking state assessments tied to regular grade level standards were in a regular classroom some portion of their day.
The continued trend toward educational placement in inclusive settings, especially at the pre-school level, is significant and positive for children and families. The trend does, however, have profound implications on the need for information, resources, and access to expertise in deaf-blindness being available at a local level. Concurrently, as schools and Part C agencies continue to appropriately place and serve children locally, there are increased needs for more interventionists and teachers with knowledge of deaf-blind intervention and instruction, and for individualized supports, including the provision of intervener services.
While access to the general curriculum and graduation from high school has improved for the population of children and youth who are deaf-blind, significant efforts are needed to expand these opportunities.