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Interveners and Qualified Personnel

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Interveners and Qualified Personnel

The focus of this national initiative continues to be the implementation of the 2012 Intervener Service Recommendations, which describe the need for qualified interveners and for those interveners to have access to qualified supervisors, coaches and teachers. This work is also guided by the recognition of the specific needs for qualified personnel in deaf-blindness and the integration of CEC competencies. Partners in the initiative include practitioners in the field, teachers, interveners, state deaf-blind project staff, university faculty members, family members and representatives from professional organizations.

Initiative Lead

Technical Assistance & Support

The Technical Assistance (TA) within this initiative supports network collaboration towards the development of communities of practice in the following areas:

  • Use of the OHOA Modules for professional development.
  • Establishment of a sustainable system for providing qualified interveners to work with students who are deaf-blind including advocacy, training and demonstration of competency.
  • Support for professionals working with children who are deaf-blind through professional development activities and recognition for the role of the Teacher of the Deaf-Blind.
  • Development of partnerships with existing personnel preparation programs to inform TA, national competencies, evidence based practice, and the need for qualified personnel in low incidence population.  

Technical Assistance Activities 

The activities within this initiative rely on collaboration with the DB TA Network, personnel preparation programs, family organizations, consumer organizations, and professional organizations in order to maximize the assets in our low incidence field and to create sustainable changes at the local, state and national levels to develop qualified personnel.

  • Support for the development and use of products including the NCDB website, OHOA modules and the Venture platform for NICE, the national certification process.
  • Organization and dissemination of resources and success stories related to coaching, mentoring and collaboration.
  • Organization and dissemination of programs and opportunities for training and education of interveners, TA providers and other education professionals.  
  • Organization and dissemination of evidence based practice and research in the field of deaf-blindness.
  • Training opportunities in the form of webinars and presentations.


  • Facilitation of peer-to-peer TA around use of the OHOA modules in TA and for the training of interveners. 
  • Facilitation of peer to peer TA to assist in the development of program guidelines, mentoring, consultation and coaching to improve TA and training of interveners.  
  • Facilitation of state TA to develop a systems approach to instituting intervener services within a state including building recognition, policy, and regulation.  
  • Facilitation of a group of individuals from institutions of higher education and from the DB TA Network to jointly address systems needs for developing qualified teachers. 


  • Support for states who are developing options for intervener training
  • Support for state projects in the development of coaching and mentoring models. 
  • Support for states who are mentoring cohorts of interveners thru the NICE Certification process
  • Support and consultation for the Para2Center in the development, training, and use of the NICE Review Board, management of the review process and clarification of the roles for preparing and supporting candidates.  

Requesting Technical Assistance 

Currently, state deaf-blind projects, universities, and other entities may use copies of the OHOA modules for use in technical assistance, preservice training, and professional development.  Follow this link for information about TA and technical support for use of the modules. 

Questions related to technical assistance or one-on-one consultations are available with any of the following NCDB staff: Linda McDowellSam Morgan, Kristi ProbstJulie Durando

Initiative Background & Data Facts
Understand the intent of this national initiative and the unique role it plays in promoting the recognition of the need for qualified personnel for students who are deaf-blind at the local level.

Tools for Technical Assistance

Advocating for Qualified Personnel

Preparing and Supporting Qualified Personnel

OHOA Modules
The Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules are a national resource designed to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills related to intervention for students who are deaf-blind and are being served in educational settings. 

This link provides information about each of the 27 modules and access to the Moodle platform that houses the modules.  User are required to enroll and maintain a login profile.

Currently, state deaf-blind projects, universities, and other entities may use copies of the OHOA modules for use in technical assistance, preservice training, and professional development.  Follow this link for information about TA and technical support for use of the modules. 

NICE Certification
The National Intervener Certification E-Portfolio is managed in partnership with the Para2Center at the University of Colorado Denver.  NCDB provides ongoing technical assistance and support for the Venture platform, a tool that Interveners can use to document their practice and knowledge in pursuit of certification.

Teacher Preparation Programs in Deaf-Blindness
This list covers university teacher preparation programs (at the undergraduate and graduate levels) that include significant content in deafblindness. 

National Webinars

Initiative Group Forum We learn from each other. We encourage you to reach out to your colleagues at NCDB or in other states with questions, ideas, or strategies to share.

Network Collaborations

Current Initiative Activities

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

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