Kansas Deaf-Blind Project

The Kansas Deaf-Blind Project is a federally funded grant designed to provide technical assistance to educational teams and families who serve learners with deaf-blindness in Kansas. Our Project goals include:

  • Collaborate with the medical, community, and infant toddler services to identify children with deaf-blindness early so services can be provided to the child and family
  • Provide training to families and service providers who work with children with deaf-blindness
  • Provide family and self-advocacy support
  • Assist families and educational teams to make effective plans for times of transition
  • Maintain learners on the Kansas census for the National Child Count

Services Provided by the Kansas Deaf-Blind Project

  •      Free technical assistance for parents, educators, and early intervention personnel by project personnel         and other consultants and selected web based family and school team support.
  •      Assistance in locating children and young adults who may have both a vision and a hearing loss.
  •      Inservice training on specific content areas as determined by needs assessment data.
  •          Ongoing SPARKLE training for families of children who are deaf-blind.
  •          Scholarships for intervener training for educators and training for parents/family members who have a           child with deaf-blindness.
  •          Resources provided through the Kansas Deaf-Blind Loan Library.
  •          Resource Information Packets distributed to families of children who are newly identified as deaf-blind         and to families whose children are re-certified on the Kansas Deaf-Blind Registry.
  •           Annual and ongoing collection of Kansas deaf-blind census and federal census monitoring.
  •          Ongoing training and certification for Kansas school nurses, in screening for vision and Usher’s                      syndrome.
  •          Ongoing collaboration with various agencies to expand services for children who are deaf-blind.


August 2014 Tidbit of the Month:

How to create an “All About Me” booklet

and the IEP Process

Collected and shared by Dinell Smith, KSDB Family Specialist

All About Me Book

The beginning of a new school year with new classmates and new staff, often times brings with it a sense of fear for students and families alike. One approach is to create a short booklet with the student telling everyone “ All About Me.” This can help the student with complex communication issues tell friends and staff members important information about themselves, how they communicate and their interests that will be helpful. These can also be used as a way for the student to advocate for himself as well as be a powerful voice for others to better understand them. It can even be used as a tool for developing their IEP by sharing strengths and areas needing assistance. The following are excellent examples of how you can help your child create their own “All About Me” booklet or one page brochure.

Babu’s Spider Diagram   http://inclusive-solutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/spider_diagram_for_Babu_11-1.docx


Nick’s One Page Profile  http://inclusive-solutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Nick-one-page-profile.doc


“All About Me” booklet  http://inclusive-solutions.com/?page_id=1741


All About Joe  http://inclusive-solutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/JoeAllaboutme2003.doc

The Beginning of the Year is great time to review the IEP process.  Here are a few helpful tips. 

              1.How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting  http://www.unco.edu/cetl/TracyMueller/IEP/PlanIEPmeeting.html  As a new school year is around the corner, we all know that at some point during the school year, we’ll be having an IEP meeting for our child. Even though most parents feel somewhat intimidated in these meetings, as they are surrounded by numerous Professionals that frequently talk the “Education Lingo” and Acronyms that we don’t understand, it is important to remember that the purpose of the IEP meeting is to get a commitment from the team on who and how they are going to best meet the needs of your child. This is the opportunity for everyone to collaborate and decide how they are going to work together and find the best modifications and accommodations to meet the needs of your child. Everyone on the team should share their ideas, including the student, in any way possible. One way for a non-verbal child to participate in the IEP meeting is to have a pre-recorded message on a Voice Output Device (a talking switch) and allow the student to start the meeting by stating what he likes about school and what he’d like help with. This is a great way to help the team keep their focus on the purpose of the meeting.

There are more great suggestions on this link that includes 10 simple steps that will help you prepare for the IEP meeting.

          2. How Can I Have an Effective IEP Meeting?   http://www.unco.edu/cetl/TracyMueller/IEP/PlanIEPmeeting.html  This link contains10 Simple Steps toward establishing an effective IEP meeting. One suggestion is to prior to the IEP meeting, try to talk with some of the teachers and get yearly progress reports and assessment results to be familiar with ahead of time. It is also very important to include the student and if they are not able to attend the meeting, then have something there that represents them like their picture, something they made, or work samples. Most importantly, always refer back to the student and talk about their needs.

       3.    For further information about the IEP Process and what the law says, follow this link.  http://www.unco.edu/cetl/TracyMueller/IEP/IEP.html

      4.    This Pop-Up IEP  http://www.handsandvoices.org/articles/education/popup/pop_index.html   has examples of commonly heard quotes involving a child with hearing loss, along with good responses and support for your responses.  Wright’s Law offers a few similar Pop-Up IEPs like the following:

 Developing Your Child’s IEP  http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/iep.develop.popup.htm

 Special Factors to Consider  http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/iep.specfact.popup.htm

 Resolving IEP Disputes  http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/iep.disputes.popup.htm

  For additional IEP Resources see the Kansas Families Together Resource page.

Check Out this Webinar 

The Impact of Technology in the Life of a Person who is Deaf-Blind 

featuring our own Dinell Smith along with Maricar Marquez and Marcia Brooks