2015 National Deaf-Blind Child Count Exiting Information
The vast majority of children who exit Part C are eligible for Part B (91.1%). This percentage has remained fairly constant over the past six years, varying between 90% and 92% The balance have moved out of state, been withdrawn by parents, were not able to be contacted or died.
An analysis to determine whether kids are “lost” in the transition from Part C to Part B revealed that about 12% of the two-year-old children eligible for Part B on the 2014 National Deaf-Blind Child Count were not included on the 2015 child count as three year olds.
Children and youth exit Part B for a number of reasons. They graduate, age out, transfer to regular education, drop out, or die. Over the past five to six years, there has been a large increase in the numbers of youth graduating with a regular diploma, from 94 to 220; a 134% increase. On the other hand, there has also been a large increase in the numbers of youth dropping out of school, from 75 to 170; a 127% increase.
Ensuring seamless transition between Part C and Part B is critical for maintaining appropriate services for children as they enter preschool. The numbers of children who seem to be “lost” in this transition warrants attention.
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.
Post-secondary education, or employment has important implications for the continued development of effective post-secondary supports for the numbers of students on the National Deaf-Blind Child Count who are exiting Part B every year, whether through having received a diploma or certificate, simply aging out, or transitioning to adult services.
The growing numbers of youth dropping out of school also has important implications for effective educational programming and the continued development of effective post-secondary supports.