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Peer-Learning Communities

State deaf-blind project personnel are an incredibly supportive group of individuals. They work collectively to improve the lives of children who are deaf-blind and their families by

  • Sharing knowledge and expertise
  • Working together to solve problems
  • Collaborating to provide services 

To make this type of networking across state lines as easy as possible, NCDB offers peer-learning communities (PLCs). These are primarily for state deaf-blind projects but, depending on the group, may also include representatives from other national entities. 

Learn more about Peer-Learning Communities for State Deaf-Blind Projects.

Current PLCs are listed below. If you are interested in joining any of these, please connect with the relevant contact person. Note that all PLCs have expectations of their participants. See Readiness for Targeted TA from NCDB for general information. Additional expectations for each group can be obtained from the group contacts.

This page was updated in September 2022. If you would like to join a PLC, please reach out to the group's contact person.

Identification and Referral

Strategies to Increase Identification and Referral

This PLC focuses on determining the causes behind under-identification and under-referral of children, birth through 21, and developing possible solutions to address the causes. Members discuss a variety of topics including analyzing child count data to identify existing patterns, working with state partners (e.g., state departments of education, Part C, EHDI, Hands & Voices, schools for the deaf and blind, and healthcare providers), and finding ways to collaboratively develop goals and solutions. This PLC meets monthly, alternating between a large group meeting one month and smaller working groups with shared interests the next month (e.g., under identification of Usher syndrome and CMV, statewide MOUs, and developing data sharing agreements).

This group is open to new members. Contact Emma if you would like to join.

Contact: Emma Nelson – enelson@helenkeller.org, (503) 504-4836

 

Family Engagement

Family Engagement Coordinators

In this PLC, family engagement coordinators and other state deaf-blind project personnel who lead family engagement activities connect online to expand their knowledge of effective strategies for serving families and share their experiences and resources.

Contact: Jana Villemez – jvillemez@helenkeller.org, (913) 707-3280

 

Interveners and Qualified Personnel

Training Interveners Group

This PLC meets quarterly and includes state deaf-blind project staff who train interveners. Topics discussed include the training, promotion, and employment of interveners. Other topics include the obstacles, challenges, and successes of intervener training; strategies to enhance training offerings; and state-specific systems change activities and materials for fostering the intervener model.

This group is open to new members. Contact Kristi if you would like to join.

Contact: Kristi Probst – kprobst@helenkeller.org, (309) 287-4158

 

Improving and Implementing Professional Development Practices

This PLC covers professional development systems and best practices. Other activities include presentations by outside experts, strategies to develop state plans to improve practices and embed deaf-blind content into existing systems, and equitable provision of training and TA to increase the capacity of educational teams.

This group is open to new members. Contact Emma if you would like to join.

Contact: Emma Nelson – enelson@helenkeller.org, (503) 504-4836

 

Technical Assistance

Child-Specific Technical Assistance

This PLC’s main activity is a group problem-solving process in which participants take turns presenting a problem or issue they are having in their TA and gather feedback and support from the group. Additional activities are based on the needs of members using a group decision-making process.

This group is open to new members. Contact Megan if you would like to join.

Contact: Megan Cote - mcote@helenkeller.org, (516) 833-8311

Transition

Improving Transition Outcomes

This PLC is for state deaf-blind project personnel and their partners who want to want to explore information and resources concerning Individualized Work Experiences and Competitive Integrated Employment for students with deaf-blindness and additional disabilities. We welcome state deaf-blind project staff to invite their partners including vocational rehabilitation, blind and low vision services, HKNC field services staff, PTI staff, NFADB ambassadors, CHARGE Syndrome Foundation, and Usher Syndrome Coalition. 

This group is recruiting new members. Please contact Mike or Ellen if you would like to join.

Contact: Michael Fagbemi – mfagbemi@helenkeller.org, (516) 393-7596 or Ellen Condon  – ellen.condon@mso.umt.edu

PDF DocumentResources for Improving Transition Outcomes: Transition Outcomes Peer Learning CommunityPDF Document|130.8 KB