Who Is Considered Deaf-Blind?

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Persons with deaf-blindness are persons who have both auditory and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental, educational, vocational and rehabilitation problems that such persons cannot be properly accommodated in special education or vocational rehabilitation programs solely for persons who are hearing impaired or visually handicapped.

  

To be eligible for deaf-blind services, a person must have:

  • A visual impairment and an auditory impairment, or
  • A condition in which there is a progressive loss of hearing and vision

A visual impairment is defined to mean one or more of the following:

  • Corrected visual acuity poorer than 20/70 in better eye
  • Restricted visual field of 20 degrees or less in the better eye
  • Cortical blindness
  • Does not appear to respond to visual stimulation, which adversely affects educational performance as determined by the multidisciplinary conference

An auditory impairment is defined to mean one or more of the following:

  • A sensorineural or ongoing chronic conductive hearing loss in the better ear with aided sensitivity of 26 dB HL or poorer
  • Functional auditory behavior that is significantly discrepant from the person's present cognitive and/or developmental levels, which adversely affects educational performance as determined by the multidisciplinary conference.

Any person age birth to 21 suspected of being deaf-blind is eligible for services.

The following medical conditions make you eligible:

  • Cortical visual impairment
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Usher Syndrome

Do you know someone who is not using their vision and hearing?

Learn how a Referral is made by Clicking Here

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This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.

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