University of Vermont

photo of teacher and child
The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

Vermont Sensory Access Project: Vermont's Deafblind Project

About Our Project

Serving children and youth with Dual Sensory Impairments of vision and hearing or Deafblindness and their families since 1987.

Because there is great variability within this low incidence disability, the combination of vision and hearing impairments is referred to by some as "dual sensory impairments" while others are more comfortable with "deafblindness." We aim to create an inclusive environment, beginning with language. By focusing on "sensory access" as the central target of our project, it is our hope to serve all children who need specialized supports for learning related to vision and hearing impairments.

Dual Sensory Impairment (deafblindness) can be characterized as low vision to complete blindness along with a mild hearing loss to profound deafness. The combination of the two sensory losses makes it challenging to implement typical educational strategies and approaches into the student's IEP. The Vermont Sensory Access Project is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education (October 2013-September 2018) and designed to augment the services of the Vermont I-Team and other Vermont vision and hearing service providing agencies. Along with the I-Team, the Vermont Sensory Access Project's mission is to provide high quality technical assistance and training to increase the capacity of our state and local educational and early intervention teams and their families to improve academic and social outcomes for Vermont learners who are deafblind and to prepare them for successful post-school education, work, and/or community life.

Our Services

photo of child with teacher
  • Assist local teams in identifying children as dual sensory impaired (deafblind) as early as possible in order to qualify them and their parents for further support.
  • Provide support and networking opportunities for family and team members.
  • Collaborate with I-Team members to address mutually identified outcomes for the child, service providers, family members, or their local school system. Meet the Vermont I-Team here.
  • Provide quality technical assistance and training to families of children who are deafblind to increase participation and/or strengthen collaborative home-school partnerships.
  • Provide quality technical assistance and training to families, service providers, and administrators of teams service children and youth who are deafblind in the use of research and evidence-based practices that will result in improved educational outcomes for learners.
  • Provide intensive quality training and technical assistance to teams including families in the development and implementation of intervener services.
  • Provide intensive quality training and technical assistance to teams and families in the area of Transition Planning for learners who are deafblind age 14 or older.
  • Provide intensive quality training and technical assistance to teams including families in the planning and delivery of effective instruction to improve learning outcomes for learners who are deafblind based on grade level general education curriculum.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with local, state, and national agencies to increase awareness of the unique education needs of learners who are deafblind and to inform policy development related to their needs in Vermont.

Last modified December 04 2013 09:49 AM

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