What is TA?
Technical assistance is an on-going process to enable and empower people by enhancing and promoting
individual, family or organizational capabilities that support and strengthen their function. (Dunst,
Trivette & Thompson 1990)
NCDB provides technical assistance (TA) and support to assist state deaf-blind projects in the
implementation of IDEA and evidenced-based practices. NCDB works to identify the needs of children,
their families and their educational teams, and implements an array of TA to build the capacity of
state and local agencies to meet those needs.
NCDB Technical Assistance (TA) strives to:
- Improve identification and intervention services for children who are deaf-blind
- Increase educational achievement
- Improve transition services and the achievement of post-secondary goals
- Increase the ability of families to effectively participate in the education of their child
- Employ effective evaluation strategies to improve accountability
NCDB technical assistance activities are based upon the identified needs and desired outcomes of the
state deaf-blind project, national family and consumer organizations, as well as national initiatives funded
through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
Major content areas of state TA
NCDB has identified five focus areas of technical assistance to help identify partnerships at the national
and state levels and promote evidenced-based practices for children who are deaf-blind. These five areas,
which are aligned with OSEP's Comprehensive Plan, are:
- Early and appropriate identification of children who are deaf-blind
- Increased student achievement in language arts/literacy, math and science
- Achievement of meaningful post-secondary goals through coordinated, measurable and annual transition services
- Effective parent involvement for families representing different cultural, ethnic, linguistic and socio-economic backgrounds
- Accountability through effective evaluation strategies for collection and analyzing data
In addition to these five areas, there are many other topics of technical assistance which NCDB responds to.
- Communication and language development
- Person-centered planning for transition
- Capacity-building and systems change
- Collaborative teaming
- Self-advocacy and self-determination
NCDB delivers individualized technical assistance across a variety of levels that include both short-term and
long-term activities. These levels include:
- State-specific TA and training
- Multi-state TA and training
- National TA and training
NCDB utilizes an array of activities in delivering TA. These include:
- Training and on-site consultation that focus on increasing the knowledge and skills of individual families and service providers
- Family leadership development activities at the national and state levels.
- Area meetings for all state deaf-blind projects within each of the four geographical areas
- Cross state TA and training designed to meet common needs and desired outcomes in multiple states.
- OSEP's annual PDM
- Personnel training
- Internet-based webinars on selected topics
- Topical workshops
- LISTSERVs for multiple groups.
NCDB uses processes that invite the involvement of stakeholders in the design, implementation and
evaluation of all its TA activities. Throughout the TA process, NCDB strives to:
- Conduct activities that are needs-based and outcome-oriented
- Maintain flexibility to address ongoing change
- Be responsive to multiple and varied TA recipients
- Utilize feasible and sustainable strategies that are more likely to lead to desired outcomes