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Child Count Management

Each year, every state deaf-blind project updates its annual census, providing information about new children identified over the course of the year, updating or confirming information on currently active children, and determining those who have exited special education or are no longer eligible to receive state project services. NCDB compiles and aggregates the data to create the National Child Count of Children and Youth Who Are Deaf-Blind, which serves as a common vehicle to meet federal grant requirements for both the state projects and NCDB.  

NCDB provides an array of technical assistance to state projects related to conducting their annual child counts, including:

  • Materials, such as instructions, forms, resources about confidentiality, and a “Dear Colleague” letter from OSEP
  • Webinars
  • Training on data management
  • One-on-one consultations
  • Custom analyses and reports 

Have questions?

Please feel free to contact Robbin Bull at any time to discuss your requests and needs.


One of the main administrative tasks for state deaf-blind projects is collecting and maintaining information for the deaf-blind child count (also referred to as a “census”). Annual child count outreach activities improve local early intervention and education agency engagement with your project and increase the likelihood that individuals, families, and districts will report children to include on the December 1 deaf-blind child count.

All state systems are different, so projects need to determine the best methods to gather information within their own states. Refer to Child Count Tips for New State Deaf-Blind Project Staff for suggested activities throughout the year.


Annual Updates


Update March 19, 2020: Due to Coronavirus we are extending the due date for the child count to June 15th. States that have complete data ready to turn in before that date are encouraged to submit it as soon as it is ready. States that are not able to meet that deadline may ask for a longer extension.

Having newly identified students documented is important not only for the child count but for the annual common project measures. Likely you have been collecting and entering information about new children throughout the year. We understand that updated data may not be as easy to get this year. Data notes should include information documenting the state of the unique circumstances in your state and the status of your data. For example, "New children have been added. Updated data were collected from 75% of districts prior to school/agency closures due to Coronavirus. Contacts for updates after closures were unsuccessful."

Please contact Robbin Bull with any questions.

The Deaf-Blind Child Count is a point-in-time snapshot that reflects individuals identified and eligible for services from state deaf-blind projects on December 1 of the current reporting period (December 2, 2018–December 1, 2019).

There are no new categories or codes for 2019, but there are new submission procedures described in Steps for Reporting.

Ready to submit your data?

The due date is May 5, 2020.  EXTENDED! New due date June 15, 2020.

Submit Data

Steps for Reporting

  1. Review Annual Updates above. 
  2. Download the Reporting Materials and closely review the instructions.
  3. Collect your data. If you have questions during collection, contact Robbin Bull.
  4. Check your data file to make sure the fields and data are correctly labeled and coded.
  5. Export the data into a .csv, .xls, or .xlsx format.
  6. Go to the Deaf-Blind Child Count Data Submission page and follow the instructions to submit your data file. Do not submit your file by email.

Reporting Materials

Be sure to download and save the Instructions and Quick Reference Code Sheet before reviewing codes. Viewing in your web viewer may skew the numbering.

DBCC Change Log - An annual log documenting year-to-year changes made to the child count. Use it to check that your data codes match current or previous changes.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions about completing the child count.

2019 Child Count Kick Off Webinar

2020 Drop In Meeting: Data Accuracy and Using the Data Feedback File


The deaf-blind child count data provides national and state-specific information that can be analyzed to identify service and training needs. Alone, specific data may not provide a complete picture, but when combined with or compared to other data, may reveal trends for further investigation. There are several resources available to help analyze child count data.