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.


September Tidbit 

Kansas Deaf-Blind September Tidbit of the Month:

Prepared by Dinell Smith, KS DB Family Specialist

Literacy, Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) What do you think of when you hear the word “Literacy?” If you think that the definition of a Literate Person means they have the ability to Read and Write, then you are not entirely correct. Language comes from Literacy. In order for our children to learn to communicate, they must have exposure to language, and that comes from literacy experiences. 

One of the weakest areas in the educational system that we continue to see over and over again across the country, is the lack knowledge or experience that teachers have for Teaching Literacy Skills to our kids that are deaf-blind or have multiple disabilities. Many teachers look at our kids with deaf-blindness and/or multiple disabilities and think “If” or “When” should we should teach them literacy skills. But instead, they should be thinking “How” do we teach them Literacy Skills.

 Look at your child’s IEP. Do they have any Goals that address the need for Literacy? Are there goals that address the need for them to learn language, whether it is with print, or object symbols, picture symbols, or sign language, or braille, or other means? For ideas on how to teach your child Literacy Skills, spend some time exploring the NCDB website, “Literacy for children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss” found here: No matter what level or age or abilities you child have, there are tons of ideas to be found here, along with research, articles, videos and pictures with examples to help you. These are ideas that can be used at home and school, so share them with your child’s teacher as well. 

Thinking ahead to the spring, we know that our children participate in state assessments. The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) is a project in the making that should help meet the needs of our kids with deaf-blindness and/or multiple disabilities. If you are not familiar with the DLM, there is a page for Parents that explains how it works to meet the needs of our kids. Also, if you look at the Professional Development page it links you to another page of the Professional Development Site Then look at the right column under Navigation, to find some example books and tests that will be used in the DLM Assessment. There are good books here that you might want to bookmark and read with your child. 

For even more ideas of teaching your child Literacy Skills, look at the NCDB Library for many articles, videos and links. So much to do!                 

    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