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The 2014 Deaf-Blind Child Count Report is published

National Child Count

Greetings! We have just posted The 2014 National Child Count of Children and Youth who are Deaf-Blind.

As in past years the report includes a narrative section that summarizes trends in the data over the past several years and identifies a number of implications from a national perspective of these trends. This narrative is followed by the detailed tables that display the results of the 2014 Nation Child Count of Children and Youth who are Deaf-Blind on a state by state basis.

We have also updated the child count mapping application to include the 2014 data. The mapping tool now contains data from 2008 through 2014.

Selected Results
• The prevalence of CHARGE Syndrome continues to increase significantly. In 2014 there were 901 children and youth identified as having CHARGE Syndrome.
• The number of children identified as having received cochlear implants has increased from 167 in 2005 to 990 in 2014, more than a five-fold increase during this time period (and over 10% of the reported population).
• Over 60% of the children and youth in school age special education are receiving their education in local schools, with 65% of elementary school aged children being served at least portion of their day in a regular classroom in their local school.
• Nearly one quarter (24.6%) of the children and youth reported access the regular curriculum as indicated by participating in statewide assessments tied to regular grade level standards. This percentage increases to 42% when only those children and youth are considered who are at the age and/or grade level for which state assessments are administered.
• While educational placement does not determine access to the regular curriculum, nearly three quarters of those students taking state assessments tied to regular grade level standards were in the regular classroom some portion of their day.
• The number of youth graduating from high school with a regular diploma has more than doubled (from 99 to 232) in the past eight years.
• For the first time, data on children/youth receiving Intervener Services was collected on a pilot basis to be fully implemented for the 2015 Child Count. A total of 411 children/youth were identified as receiving intervener services during the year, of which 394 were included in the December 1 snapshot. This is likely to increase significantly next year when additional states participate fully.

Some Implications
• 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 needs 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 a knowledge of deaf-blind intervention and instruction, as well as 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.
• The apparent continued under-identification and referral to deaf-blind programs of very young infants and children remains an important need. Infants and toddlers greatly benefit from having access to expertise in deaf-blindness in order to develop and implement appropriate services that address the impacts of dual sensory impairments. Further, parents and families of these infants and toddlers can benefit from supports and networks established within states.
• Trends demonstrate that what has historically been one of the lowest incidence, yet heterogeneous populations, continues to become even more so as our nation’s population becomes more diverse ethnically, racially, culturally and even linguistically.
• The numbers of students on the count who are exiting Part B every year, either having received a diploma or certificate, simply aging out, or transitioning to adult services, post-secondary education, or employment has important implications for the continued development of effective post-secondary supports for this population. This is especially the case for the growing numbers of young adults receiving a certificate of completion or diploma, which has grown from 160 to 280 over the past 7 years.
• Finally, technology is having an increasingly important place in the lives of children and youth who are deaf-blind. In 2013, 45% of the population was identified as making use of some form of assistive technologies not related to vision or hearing.
• The numbers of children/youth with cochlear implants has quadrupled over the past four years. This increase, spanning the age ranges from infants to young adults, may require significant program development within the Deaf-Blind TA Network to provide appropriate supports for this growing population.

If you have any questions about the 2014 report, or previous reports or trends please feel free to contact me at (503-838-8777)

Also, please feel free to contact me for any specific analyses you would like run using the 2014 data, or longitudinal analyses over the past 8-10 years.

Mark Schalock

Posted Nov 2, 2015 by Mark Schalock

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