One of NCDB's current product development projects is the creation of practice guides that outline essential components of instructional practices commonly used with children who are deaf-blind. They are primarily intended as a tool for state deaf-blind project personnel and practitioners to inform training and coaching needs.
A key purpose is to let technical assistance providers or coaches and practitioners know what a practice involves when implemented correctly. The more clearly the components of an intervention are known and defined, the better it can be successfully implemented (Fixsen et al., 2013). NCDB Practice Guides also serve as quick reminders of the purpose and key elements of a practice. The guides are not intended to provide instruction on how to implement a practice and should be used in combination with technical assistance/coaching and information resources (e.g., factsheets, articles, videos, modules).
Six guides have been published so far:
Building Trusting Relationships
Appropriate Assessment Strategies
Optimizing Availability for Learning
Preparing the Learning Environment
Upcoming guides include a series on communication.
Creating Practice Guides
NCDB Practice Guides are being created using a process adapted from the Practice Profile format developed by the National Implementation Research Network that involves:
- Extensive literature reviews
- Semi-structured group interviews with practitioners and community members to identify activities involved in a practice, as well as its underlying principles
- Vetting of initial drafts by state deaf-blind project staff, personnel preparation providers, family members, and other key stakeholders
The following group of state deaf-blind project staff and personnel preparation faculty have provided advice and input regarding practice guide development:
- Maurice Belote, California Deafblind Services
- Susan Bruce, Boston College
- Silvia Correa-Torres, University of Northern Colorado
- Sue Dell, Rhode Island College
- Adam Graves, Texas Deafblind Project
- Sarah Ivy, University of Utah
- Julie Maier, California Deafblind Services
- Stephanie McFarland, University of Arizona
- Phoebe Okungu, Texas Tech University
- Cathy Nelson, University of Utah
- Rona Pogrund, Texas Tech University
- Sandra Warren, East Carolina University
Fixsen, D., Blase, K., Metz, A., Van Dyke, M. (2013). Statewide implementation of evidence-based programs. Exceptional Children, 79(2), 213-230.