University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

Vermont Sensory Access Project: Vermont's Deafblind Project

VSAP Project Activites


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This past year...

VSAP is celebrating! The Vermont Sensory Access Project has been refunded for another five-years! The grant period will run from 10/1/2013 to 9/30/2018. VSAP continues to have the expertise of Susan Edelman serving as Project Director and Barbara Miles as Education Consultant. The Vermont Sensory Access Project has a new Project Coordinator, Emma Nelson.

In the last year, VSAP has identified 3 more children for the Vermont Deafblind Census and 3 new paraeducators are in the process of being trained in the skills needed to support children with dual sensory access impairments. We also have increased our quality of service for children with CVI and are piloting an initiative to address the unique transition needs of students who are deafblind. We are collaborating with Children's Integrated Services to increase early identification and referral for infants and toddlers and with the I-Team to ensure that students with deafblindness are able to access the grade level general education curriculum. These are just a few of VSAP's successes in addition to our main project services (listed below).

VSAP Focuses on...

Census: Identifying Students with Dual Sensory Impairments

VSAP has the responsibility of identifying all children in Vermont who have, or are at risk of having, dual sensory impairments (deafblindness). Once a child is identified in the Census, it will allow us to follow the educational progress of that child from early intervention through exiting school as a young adult. VSAP is collaborating with Children's Integrated Services to increase the early identification and referral for infants and toddlers who are deafblind. Each year a student is included in the Census, their families and team members are offered supports and resources by the Project to address their sensory access needs.

Intervener Services

VSAP has the responsibility of working with families and teams in the development and implementation of intervener services. Intervener.org website defines an intervener as a person who “works consistently one-to-one with an individual who is deafblind” and “who has training and specialized skills in deafblindness.” VSAP’s goal is to increase the number of interveners in the state to enhance educational and developmental outcomes for VT learners who are deafblind.

Transition Services

VSAP has the responsibility of working with families and school teams to provide technical assistance and training in the area of Transition Planning for learners who are deafblind ages 14 or older. VSAP is working to identify community adult service providers to engage them in the transition process with the student’s team. The goal of this process is to work collaboratively with families, school teams, and adult services to achieve valued life outcomes for individuals with deafblindness in their home, work, and community.

Access to the Grade Level Education Curriculum

This initiative pairs VSAP with the I-Team to provide technical assistance and training to teams and families in the planning and delivery of effective instruction to improve learning outcomes for learners who are deafblind. Through specific tools and collaborative teaming, the educational team and family will work together to develop strategies to support learners who are deafblind in achieving grade level general education outcomes with appropriate individualized supports and accommodations.

Technical Assistance

Using research based practices and technology, The Vermont Sensory Access Project helps to provide interdisciplinary technical assistance and training to families and educational team members of students with dual sensory impairments. Visit the AT Tryout Center at CDCI website for examples and more information on Assistive Technology.

Last modified December 04 2013 09:53 AM

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