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Initiative Background and Data Facts
Interveners and Qualified Personnel
This page was last updated on Apr 18, 2017 at 6:17 pm
Creating sustainable supports for children who are deaf-blind
In 2012, NCDB, at the request from the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), published Recommendations for Improving Intervener Services. This work was accomplished in collaboration with many people who have worked diligently for years to promote intervener services. .
The process of developing the recommendations involved both the collection of detailed information about the status of services and practices across the country as well as development of the recommendations based on the analysis of the information gathered. This initiative is guided by the recommendations and by the growing recognition of the specific needs for qualified personnel in deaf-blindness, the integration of the CEC competencies and collaboration with personnel preparation programs. The work in this initiative is meant to create sustainable systems to provide qualified personnel to to this low incidence population of students.
Data Facts on Intervener Services from the National Child Count
The purpose of the Intervener and Qualified Personnel Initiative is to bring greater quality and equality to the services that children and youth who are deaf-blind receive regardless of where they live or their educational placement.
Parent perspectives on the impact of intervener services
In a 2012 survey of 123 parents of children and youth who are deaf-blind parents were asked to share their observations on the impact that having an intervener had on the lives of their children in schools.
Over three quarters (76.7%) of parents indicated a significant improvement in their child’s participation in classroom activities.
The majority of parents also observed better awareness (72.4%) and exploration of the classroom environment (65.9%).
Parents also observed greater social interactions in terms of relationships with peers (61.4%) as well as participation in social activities (75%).
Overall, a large majority of parents indicated that their child was happier at school (86.7%) and that their behaviors had improved (72.7%).
How many children/youth are receiving Intervener Services?
The most recent data available through the 2015 Annual deaf-Blind Child Count indicates that nearly 700 children and youth were known to be receiving intervener services. The individuals providing these services have a broad array of experience and training as interveners.
Who are these children/youth receiving intervener services?
Based on the 2015 Child Count we know that while intervener services are being provided in most states and territories (40 out of 54 or nearly 75%), they are not yet universally available.
We know that intervener services are being provided to children and youth across the age range from infants to young adults. Intervener services are being provided to children/youth across the ranges of vision and hearing loss as well and to children/youth with and without additional disabilities.
Children and youth are receiving intervener services in the full range of educational settings, from the regular education classroom to home and hospital settings. Further, children and youth are receiving intervener services across the range of academic abilities, as defined by participation in state assessments, from regular grade level assessments without accommodations to assessments with modified standards.
We also know that there is some unevenness in the distribution of who is receiving intervener services. For example, we know that children and youth with CHARGE syndrome are receiving intervener services at a higher rate than children/youth with other etiologies. While about 9% of the children on the deaf-blind child count have CHARGE, nearly 17% of the children receiving intervener services have CHARGE syndrome.
We also know that children/youth who are white are receiving intervener services at a higher rate than other children/youth. While about 53% of the children on the deaf-blind child count are white, 70% of the children receiving intervener services are white.