As with any eligibility decision, the question of eligibility for special education under the category of Deafblindness is an important one. Special education can provide much needed supports and insight for students with disabilities. At the same time, the identification for special education can impact the ways a student experiences school, and the mindset of the learner and those around them.
Deafblindness refers to having both hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational challenges that the student cannot be accommodated in special education programs designed solely for students having hearing or visual impairments.
To meet the eligibility criteria in Oregon, a student must meet one or more of the following minimum criteria:
- The student meets the minimum criteria for both vision impairment and hearing impairment; or
- The student meets the minimum criteria for either vision impairment or hearing impairment and demonstrates inconsistent or inconclusive responses in an assessment of the other sensory area; or
- The student meets the minimum criteria for either vision impairment or hearing impairment and has a degenerative disease or pathology that affects the acuity of the other sensory area.
The team must also determine that the student's disability has an adverse impact on educational performance, and that the student needs special education services as a result of the disability.
The Columbia Regional Program (CRP) provides vital assistance and guidance in the eligibility process and providing service for students with deafblindness.
Contact your building Special Education Instructional Coordinator (SPED IC) to complete the CRP referral form.
For a student suspected of having deafblindness, the evaluation must include
- The minimum evaluation procedures for hearing impairment and vision impairment;
- If the student demonstrates inconsistent or inconclusive responses in an assessment of one sensory area, a functional assessment must be administered by a state licensed educator of the visually impaired, a state licensed educator of the hearing impaired or an audiologist licensed by the State.