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Deaf-Blind Child Count update and plans for Summit
National Child Count
Once again, thank you everyone for your child count submissions and for all your hard work in collecting this information. We are currently in the process of cleaning and merging the data for analysis. We hope to have preliminary results to share at Summit and will send out a DRAFT for your review in early August.
Believe it or not, this year marks the 29th year that Deaf-Blind Child Count has been conducted. It is the first and longest running registry and database of children who are deaf-blind in the world.
It started in 1986 on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education. It was intended to throw light on the discrepancy between the National Deaf-Blind Child Count and OSEP’s annual December 1 count. The deaf-blind child count has been and continues to be conducted each year to supplement OSEP’s Federal Part C and Part B Child Counts (Special Education Child Count), which include children as deaf-blind only when deaf-blindness is their single disability. Since more than 90% of the children on the DBCC have additional disabilities the original discrepancy continues.
For example, WESTAT (2013) reports that 1,539 students (3-21) were identified as deaf-blind on OSEP’s 12/1/12 Part B Special Education Child Count. In contrast, the DBCC identified 8,847 children and young adults (3-21) and an additional 552 infants (Birth-2). Until this definitional discrepancy is addressed, the DBCC remains critical to our network.
In the mean time, we have a great opportunity at Summit this year to focus on some things as a network that will hopefully make this process a bit easier, useful and streamlined. Specifically we hope to focus on four topic at Summits: 1) Review the pilot year of collecting data on Intervener Services to make needed improvements and share strategies for collecting this information; 2) collectively share strategies to address other critical issues/challenges identified by states; 3) review the current data we collect for possible deletions and/or additions; and 4) review our current reporting formats and think about what and how we might add to make them more useful to you.
I look forward to seeing you at Summit!