Project Reach is the Illinois IDEA funded Deaf-Blind project, and the Illinois State Board of Education contracts with the Philip J. Rock Center and School to administer the goals and objectives for Project Reach.
Project Reach provides technical assistance, information, and training to address the early intervention, special education, related services, and transitional services needs of children with DeafBlindness and enhance state capacity to improve services and outcomes for children and their families.
For questions or issues concerning Project REACH grant administration or other education issues, feel free to contact Amy Deegan, Project Director, Illinois State Board of Education at (217) 782-5589. For information about Project REACH, feel free to contact Michelle Clyne, Project Coordinator, at (630) 790-2474.
Technical assistance is designed to:
- Assure that service providers more effectively provide special education services
- Provide in-service training to paraprofessionals and professionals
- Provide activities to facilitate family involvement
- Provide consultative services
- Promote the integration/inclusion of children with deaf-blindness with children with other disabilities and without disabilities
Services are coordinated with other state agencies responsible for providing services to children who are DeafBlind.
Project Reach supports the activities of our DeafBlind specialists who live and work in the different strategic geographic areas of the state and a statewide family engagement coordinator. Project Reach staff work with local school programs and community service providers and families to identify and provide technical assistance to children and youth (ages birth to 21). Information brochures, periodic telephone contacts, trainings, and on-site consultation on a variety of related topics are offered to educational staff and families. Presentations are made at statewide conferences as a way to inform education personnel and community service providers about the issues of deaf-blindness, services available, and to increase the identification of eligible children and those suspected of having dual sensory impairments.
Needs assessments are distributed to family members and professionals which allow them the opportunity to identify areas of need for consultation services and various forms of technical assistance. Technical assistance is available at a variety of levels to meet a variety of needs.
The Family Engagement Coordinator facilitates collaboration between Project Reach and the Illinois Advocates for the DeafBlind (IADB) parent organization. The Family Engagement Coordinator helps families to connect with each other and provides technical assistance to parents and children.