NCDB Update on the Ongoing Development of a New National Intervener Certificate

Posted on February 15, 2015


Jay Gense - NCDB Senior Advisor

In late November a blog was posted identifying a new charge for NCDB and the National DB Network related to development of a new National Intervener Certificate (blog post here).  The original blog provided rationale for development of the new certificate, and highlighted approaches being implemented and the processes being developed. This posting serves as an update to the ongoing work associated with this effort.


As you will recall, NCDB has been charged by OSEP to work in collaboration with the National Deaf-Blind TA Network to develop a National Intervener Certificate for individuals who can demonstrate competencies as interveners in educational settings. This effort aligns with NCDB’s Intervener Services Recommendation (NCDB, 2012a) to “expand opportunities for interveners to obtain a state or national certificate or credential.” Once developed, this new national certificate will be available to those who can demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to provide quality intervener services, including 1) those that are already practicing in the field, 2) those that are or who will receive their training in programs delivered and managed by the State and Multistate Deaf-Blind Projects, and 3) those that participate in IHE programs.

An “Intervener Certificate Work Group” has been established to help shape the development of the new certificate. The group includes colleagues from State and Multi-State Deaf-Blind Projects, representation from the Intervener Services TWG, NCDB staff, representatives from higher education programs, and OSEP.  Members of the Work Group include:

OSEP representative

  • JoAnn McCann, Federal Project Officer

State Deaf-Blind Project representatives

  •  Lyn Ayer - OR
  • Julie Durando - VA
  • Cindi Robinson – AZ
  • Maurice Belote – CA
  • Beth Kennedy – MI
  • Cathy Lyle - MN
  • Deanna Rothbauer – MN
  • David Wiley – TX
  • Debbie Saunders – UT

IHE representatives

  • Ritu Chopra-University of Colorado, Denver
  • Alana Zambone – East Carolina University

NCDB representatives

  • Linda McDowell
  • Leanne Cook
  • Jeff Denton
  • Jay Gense
  • Peggy Malloy
  • Amy Parker


  • John Killoran


The initial focus in developing the new certificate targets individuals currently working in the field who can meet competency standards. A process is being now being crafted to allow an individual candidate to demonstrate their mastery of CEC’s Specialization Knowledge and Skills for Paraeducators who are Interveners for Individuals with Deaf-Blindness through completion and submission of a digital portfolio that serves to demonstrate his/her competencies (both knowledge and skills). The portfolio will be independently reviewed and certification-related recommendations made. 

In January, a sub-group of the larger Intervener Certificate Work Group gathered in Portland, OR for an intense two-day working meeting (see photo from the meeting … lots of work but lots of fun!). Participants in the meeting represented states and training programs that have been actively engaged in conducting intervener training programs for several years. In addition, Jo Ann McCann, NCDB’s Federal Project Officer was present and her contributions re-emphasized the importance OSEP has placed on the NCDB’s intervener initiative and certification work.

During these two days, the group focused on refining both the structure and process for the individual portfolio, and the components necessary for demonstrating competency through completion of a digital portfolio.


Based on feedback and input gathered during the 2-day Work Group meeting in Portland, NCDB is now revising a prototype digital portfolio. Once completed, NCDB and 4-6 targeted states will collaborate to implement a small pilot of the individual digital portfolio. The pilot will give the Work Group the information needed to move forward more broadly, including making decisions about needed structure and process for completion of the portfolio, the appropriate examples of evidence that demonstrate competence within the portfolio, a process for independently reviewing the portfolios of applicants, and an important long-term step, finding an appropriate home organization to manage the certification process once developed.

In summary, the pilot will help us to evaluate:

  • The usability and function of the digital portfolio
  • The types of evidences that demonstrate national intervener competencies
  • An independent portfolio review process
  • The internal and external costs of managing certification processes

We anticipate having initial evaluation data in place in time to discuss with all State Deaf-Blind Projects during the DB Summit in July.

Work Group at the Portland meeting in January.  

Work group in Portland

Comments (3)

Makes so much sense. Thank you.

Karen A. Lambert

Posted Feb 23, 2015 by Karen A. Lambert

These are wonderful news! Thanks for sharing the picture of this hard working group!

Clara Berg

Posted Feb 17, 2015 by Clara Berg

Thanks for sharing.

Mary Tellefson

Posted Feb 16, 2015 by Mary Tellefson

Please login.

You must first login before posting your comments here.

Login or Make a Profile

NCDB : The Research Institute : Western Oregon University : 345 N. Monmouth Ave. : Monmouth, OR 97361
Contact Us: 800-438-9376 |

Tour This Page Website Help
Help for this page

Help Guides & Tutorials