Child Count

The Deaf-Blind Child Count is an important census of children and youth with combined vision-hearing loss in the United States. Critical purposes of the child count include:

  • identifying technical assistance and research priorities,
  • informing decision makers,
  • determining personnel preparation needs, and
  • prioritizing national and state product development and dissemination activities.

Illinois Child Count information is reported using unique code numbers; NO NAMES ARE USED IN REPORTING. A letter from Susan Weigert (Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)), explaining the importance of this process and the partnership ILDBP is requesting from families and educational entities can be found here (Weigert OSEP letter).

Children identified with the following conditions may be especially at risk for combined vision-hearing loss and might be eligible for submission:

  • CHARGE Syndrome
  • Complications of Prematurity
  • Congenital Cytomegalovirus Virus (CMV)
  • Congenital Rubella Syndrome
  • Down Syndrome
  • Functional Vision Loss combined with Functional Hearing Loss
  • Meningitis
  • Mitochondrial Disorders
  • Neurological Conditions or Trauma
  • Trisomy 13 or 18
  • Usher Syndrome

ANY CHILD with known or suspected combined vision-hearing loss for any reason is eligible for consideration. There are two pathways for a child to be counted:

  1. De-identified registration. The de-identified registration route requests less information and no parent signature. The child and family are not eligible for project services and the ILDBP never receives the child’s name or address. The person submitting information becomes eligible for general and targeted project services. Information about vision and hearing, and other minimal educational information is requested. To begin De-identified registration, use this online registration form.
  2. Referral for eligibility. The referral for eligibility route requests more child and family information and requires a parent signature. It also requires vision and hearing information. If determined eligible the child, family and the adults who serve the child become eligible for all ILDBP services. To begin the referral for eligibility process, use this printable Referral for Eligibility form, or contact Michelle Clyne for a customized e-signature form.

Additional resources include:

Combined Vision and Hearing Loss May Mean More Than You Think (Fact sheet explaining the important of early referral).

Identification of Children with Deaf-Blindness: Resources for School Administrators (An article with resources for administrators)

Any questions regarding the Illinois Deaf-Blind Child Count may be directed to Michelle Clyne.

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