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Assessment, Planning and Instruction

The Assessment, Planning, and Instruction Initiative is a relatively new initiative for NCDB that began in October 2018. It’s goal is to provide information resources and products that promote the use of high-quality practices for the entire spectrum of children with deaf-blindness. The intended audiences are state deaf-blind projects, early intervention and education agencies and personnel, and families. Key topics will include practices to help students:

  • Access the general education curriculum
  • Achieve communication competence

Initiative Lead

Kristi Probst

Practice Guides

NCDB’s main API activity at this time is the development of Practice Guides that outline the 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. The 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 


We are pleased to announce that the first practice guide, Building Trusting Relationships, has been completed.

Read the guide

Upcoming Guides:

  • Appropriate Assessment Strategies
  • Individualized Education Program Development
  • Maximizing Availability for Learning
  • Preparing the Learning Environment

A key purpose of outlining the essential components of practices 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. They 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 resources (e.g., factsheets, articles, videos, modules).

Other Resources

NCDB also has other support for assessment, planning, and instruction. This includes: 

  • The OHOA Modules
  • The “Educational Practices” section of the Info Center of this site
  • A separate website on emerging literacy 
  • A module based on the emerging literacy website
  • Personnel development opportunities on the Interveners and Qualified Personnel Initiative page


NCDB has convened the following workgroup of state deaf-blind project staff and personnel preparation faculty to provide advice and input for this initiative:

  • 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, Utah State University
  • Julie Maier, California Deafblind Services
  • Stephanie McFarland, University of Arizona
  • Phoebe Okungu, Texas Tech University
  • Cathy Nelson, Utah State University
  • Rona Pogrund, Texas Tech University
  • Sandra Warren, East Carolina University