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The Sooner the Better: A Framework for Training Early Intervention Practitioners on Deaf-Blindness

Social-Communication Skills

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Audiences: Families MDT SC DSP

This unit provides information about the impact of a dual sensory loss on social-communication skill development and intervention strategies that can be helpful.


PowerPoint Slides

IN Training (Part 2): Slides 24-25
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These slides cover the impact of vision and hearing loss on the development of social-communication skills.

Strategies: Communication Basics

PowerPoint Slides

IN Training (Part 2): Slides 26-31
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These slides cover the elements of communication, foundations for communication, environments, and communication partners.

IN Training (Part 2): Slides 54-55
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These slides discuss communication dictionaries.

PA Webinar: Slides 46-55
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These slides cover strategies for consistent interaction, modes of communication, and links to additional communication resources.

Recorded Presentations

PA Webinar: Communication Section

Emma Nelson discusses strategies for interacting with children who are deaf-blind (8:08).



A comprehensive assessment and planning tool for use with families.

Communication Map

A communication assessment tool found helpful over the years by teams working with children with deaf-blindness. It includes a two-page form and instructions for use.

Hierarchy of Expressive Communication

An overview of the levels of communication and reasons for communicating from Washington Sensory Disabilities Services.

Strategies: Using Cues and Symbols

PowerPoint Slides

IN Training (Part 2): Slides 32-53
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These slides give an overview of cues and symbols.


Symbol Hierarchy

This one-pager from the NCDB literacy website describes the hierarchy of symbolic communication (from concrete to abstract).

How Can I Help My Child Understand What Is About to Happen?

A one-pager on using cues from the Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project. (Also see the Spanish version.)

Participant Learning

Create a communication dictionary (expressive) and a communication plan (receptive), including touch cues, objects, signs, spoken words, etc., for a child with whom you work.