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.


Spring Tidbit 

Kansas Deaf-Blind Spring Tidbit of the Month:

Prepared by Dinell Smith, KS DB Family Specialist

This is the time of year that we are starting to think ahead into the next year and what we can do differently to help our children/students the most. One of the best things we can do for our child is to be a good Advocate for them. That doesn’t mean that we have to prepare to go into battle on a regular basis (although we can when we need to), but instead that we can voice their needs in a positive light. We need to find ways to partner with others in order to create a world where we are not trying to do everything for them alone, but instead are surrounded with partners that care just as much about the child/student and what they are learning. The key word here being “Partner.”

The KU Beach Center on Disability created a wonderful research-based tool to help you better understand how to work to form a strong parent/professional partnership. This “Creating Partnerships   Tip Sheet” can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/CreatingPartnerships   This Tip Sheet describes the 7 principles that are essential in building a relationship between families  and professionals in order to achieve an outcome. The 7 principles are Communication, Professional Skills, Respect, Equality, Commitment, Advocacy and most of all TRUST. Follow the link to learn more about how you can better partner and collaborate in order to help your child/student.  With summer upon us and especially if your child is about to age out of the school system, you are looking at other options for where to go next and what they can do with their lives. Many of our kids will need supports at home and you will start looking for someone to hire to help them at home and out in the community. If you are in the KanCare (Medicaid) System, these are called Personal Service Attendants (PSA) and they are paid by the KS KanCare program. If you choose the Self-Directing option of services, then you are finding and hiring your own PSA. KS has created a great Toolkit that can help you through this process. The KS Personal Attendance Supports and Services (K-PASS)  Self-Direction Toolkit can be found on the KDADS website here.There are sections of many different aspects of how to step through this process including, how to develop your job description, selecting a payroll agent that will pay them, recruiting your PSA, screening applicants, interviewing and selecting your PSA, training your PSA, managing your PSA, planning or back-ups and emergencies, and much more. This is a very large book with tons of information, so I have taken it and divided it into sections for you and this can be found here:


This way, you can focus on just one section at a time as you need that info without being overwhelmed by the whole thing.  You are welcome to look around this Google Site that I created for the HCBS Educational Summit in April 2015. It includes more information on Self-Directing, Partnering with other Professionals, creating Person Centered Plans, creating Healthcare Notebooks and tons more resources for Kansas.



    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