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Child Count Management

Each year, every state deaf-blind project updates its annual child count, 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. 

Drop-in Office Hours: Google Meeting Room, Thursdays 11AM - 12PM Pacific, no appointment necessary.

Please join Robbin on the third Thursday of each month at 11 a.m. PT for Topical Thursday in my Drop-In Meeting Room.

  • January 20 - Newly Identified and Race/Ethnicity elements
  • February 17 - Educational Environment codes
  • March 17 - Pre-submission checklists
  • April 21 - Part C and Part B Exiting and incomplete records
  • May 19 - Data management best practices
  • June 16 - Considerations for Data Collection Forms


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.


Updated October 29, 2021

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, 2020–December 1, 2021).

Extensive revisions were made to the child count in 2020. All 2020 updates must be integrated into December 1, 2021 data reports. Although the 2021 instructions (2021 National Deaf-Blind Child Count: Instructions, Codebook, and Quick Reference Table) do not include new code changes, be sure to read through the instructions carefully to ensure proper data collection and submission.

Updated forms under "Reporting Materials" include:

  • 2021 National Deaf-Blind Child Count: Instructions, Codebook, and Quick Reference Table
  • 2021 Deaf-Blind Child Count Sample Spreadsheet

Contact Robbin Bull with any questions.

Ready to submit your data?

NEW! Data submission window: March 15 - May 1
The final due date is May 1, 2022.

Submit Data

Steps for Reporting

  1. Review any updates above. 
  2. Download the Reporting Materials and carefully 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. During the submission window period, 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

Download and save documents before reviewing codes. Viewing in your web browser may skew the numbering.

Essential Resources:

Additional Resources:

Past Presentations


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.