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Peer-Learning Communities

State deafblind project personnel are an incredibly supportive group of individuals. They work collectively to improve the lives of children who are deafblind 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 deafblind 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 February 2024. 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 who are deafblind, birth through 21, and developing solutions. Members discuss a variety of topics, including using child count data to identify existing identification and referral patterns, working with state partners, and finding ways to collaboratively develop goals and solutions. We meet monthly, and are currently working to examine the healthcare system and ways to increase identification and referral through data-sharing, collaborative agreements, and using NCDB resources and experiences to increase connection and partnerships. We invite new members who are interested in joining this hard working community!

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

Contact: Emma Nelson –, (503) 504-4836


Family Engagement

Family Engagement Coordinators

The Family Engagement Coordinator (FEC) PLC supports state deafblind projects in their work with families. In addition to providing opportunities for FECs to learn from and be inspired by each other, this PLC works to develop and legitimize the value and needs of families of children who are deafblind. The Value of Family Engagement: Identifying Unique Needs and Priorities of Families with Children Who Are Deaf-Blind,  guides our PLC and provides unity and cohesion for why we do what we do for families. 

Contact: Jana Villemez –, (501) 517-1474


Interveners and Qualified Personnel

Training Interveners Group

The Training Interveners Group PLC meets bi-monthly to identify state-specific systems change activities for fostering the intervener model. Meetings include discussions of the obstacles, challenges, and successes of intervener training as well as strategies to improve training. We are happy to welcome new members!

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

Contact: Kristi Probst –, (309) 287-4158


Improving and Implementing Professional Development Practices

This PLC meets monthly to address ways to partner with state systems to increase the capacity of families, educators, and providers to meet the needs of children who are deafblind. Over the past year, we have studied adult learning strategies that increase engagement, implementation of best practices, and the use of coaching. We’ve also examined the equitable provision of training and TA and ways to partner with state-level organizations and systems (e.g., departments of education, SPDGs) to improve practices and embed deafblind content into existing systems. Currently, we are creating materials that can be used in a variety of training opportunities. We are happy to welcome new members who are interested in actively participating as we roll up our sleeves to do this work.

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

Contact: Emma Nelson –, (503) 504-4836


Technical Assistance

Child-Specific Technical Assistance

Defining and implementing your state deafblind project’s universal, targeted, and intensive child-specific TA can be challenging given limited project time and resources and the extensive needs of  educational teams. The Child TA PLC has been exploring what’s realistic to achieve under these constraints and how to create innovative, sustainable outcomes to enhance the services and supports for children who are deafblind.

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

Contact: Megan Cote -, (516) 833-8311


Increasing Individualized Work Experience through Systems Collaboration

This PLC is made up of state deafblind projects and their invited state partners (e.g., departments of education, blind and low vision services, UCEDD, vocational rehabilitation, HKNC) who are working collaboratively across systems in their state to increase access to individualized work experiences and employment preparation for students who are deafblind with additional disabilities. It meets monthly. State deafblind project personnel who are working on systems change and capacity building are welcome to join.

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

Contact: Michael Fagbemi –, (516) 393-7596 or Ellen Condon  –