New Deafblind Teaching Endorsement

Deafblind Specialists get Teaching Endorsement

"Learning is Here" by Alan Levine/CC/flickr

“Learning is Here” by Alan Levine/CC/flickr

In 1995 the Utah Legislature set Utah apart from other states when it funded one-on-one intervener services for children who are deafblind.  Deafblindness is defined as a combination of vision and hearing loss which causes intense communication, developmental, and educational needs.

Simply stated, deafblindness is a disability of access.  Interveners are specially trained paraprofessionals who provide information, communication and socialization for children with deafblindness.

When the Utah Legislature funded intervener services for children with deafblindness, they provided a means to bridge the access gap and a model for the rest of the nation.

Since this landmark legislation in 1995, Utah has refined and improved its system for providing intervener services and the rest of the nation is following along.

Currently, four percent of students with deafblindness in the nation have interveners.  In Utah, 60 percent of students with deafblindness are supported by interveners.

In 2012 Utah is again a national leader in the education of children with deafblindness.  The Utah State Office of Education has recently approved a deafblind teaching endorsement.  As the complex and intense needs of children with deafblindness have been recognized, so has the need for teachers with specialized training in deafblindness.

In fact, the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has recently accepted recommendations from the National Consortium on Deafblindness (NCDB) which acknowledge the need for teachers with specialized training in deafblindness.

With the announcement by USOE of the Deafblind Teaching Endorsement, Utah again leads the way.  Upon receiving this news Jay Gense, the director of the National Consortium on Deafblindness responded, “As always, Utah proves to be progressive!!”

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