Recommendations to Improve Transition Outcomes for Students with Deaf-Blindness and Additional Disabilities

A young girl in a wheelchair petting a horse.

The Recommendations to Improve Transition Outcomes for Students with Deaf-Blindness and Additional Disabilities are based on a comprehensive review of laws, policies, and best practices related to transition and extensive interviews with experts throughout the United States. The work was guided by a national task force comprised of adult service providers, subject matter experts, and families. Task force members were selected by NCDB for their collective expertise supporting students who require long-term supports and their families. The task force met every other month, beginning in March 2017.

NCDB staff conducted 40 interviews, each lasting 60 minutes, to gather information on integrated employment opportunities and community inclusion. Interview subjects were chosen because of their knowledge and expertise regarding one or more of the following: employment and transition for youth with deaf-blindness, customized employment, integrated employment, individualized community living supports, developmental disabilities and vocational rehabilitation services, and family supports. To identify effective practices, we particularly focused on entities who had been successful in these areas. Entities interviewed included individuals from:  

  • State or county developmental disabilities agencies

  • State vocational rehabilitation services

  • State blind and low vision services

  • Family organizations

  • State deaf-blind projects

  • The Helen Keller National Center

  • The Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center

  • The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy    

Interviewees from the following agencies subsequently met with the task force via online conferencing for discussion and overviews of their activities.

  • Arc of Pennsylvania

  • National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

  • Office of Disability Employment Policy

  • Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center

Their perspectives and the strategies they shared were invaluable in helping the task force understand effective systemic practices.