The educational definition says that persons who are DeafBlind 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 Project Reach services, a child or youth (age birth - 21 years) 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
- A functional visual impairment
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 - 21 years suspected of being DeafBlind is eligible for services.
It should be noted that to be eligible for Project Reach services, a student does NOT have to have the deaf-blind eligibility on an IEP. Please see this document that clarifies Deafblind IEP Eligibility for more information.
The following medical conditions may lead to eligibility:
- Cortical visual impairment
- Auditory processing disorder
- Usher Syndrome
Do you know someone who is not using their vision and hearing?