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Teaching Children Who are Deaf-Blind: Professional Development for Educators

Module 1 Now in Production! Updated Nov 22, 2021

Production is well underway to create the first module of Teaching Children Who Are Deafblind: Professional Development for Educators, a new series designed for practitioners who want to improve their knowledge of deaf-blindness and gain practical skills essential for working with students who are deaf-blind. 

Here’s What We’ve Been Up To

  • Working closely with content experts Maurice Belote and Michelle Clyne, the script for the first two-hour module is nearing completion.
  • Thanks to the collective efforts of state deaf-blind projects, organizations, educators, and families, we’ve collected videos and photos that will provide authentic examples of the practical skills and knowledge required to effectively teach children who are deaf-blind.
  • The NCDB website page that will host the module series has been designed.
  • Video editing for lesson 1, “An Introduction to Deafblindness,” is nearing completion.

A rigorous review process, including useability tests, for the first lesson is now underway.

The estimated release date for Module 1 is Spring 2022.


Read an overview of the series, module topics, and project plans.

We would love your input! Share your thoughts and ideas using this survey.

Videos and Photos Needed! We are looking for a wide variety of videos and photos of educators, children, and family members. 

Module 1: The Impact of Deaf-Blindness on Learning and Development

This first module will provide need-to-know, practical information that teachers can put to use right away in their classrooms. Participants will get a solid foundational understanding of deaf-blindness that will be built upon in subsequent modules.

Meet Our Module 1 Content Experts

Maurice smiling with a blue button up shirt and black background.

Maurice Belote, M.A., is a graduate of the federally-funded teacher training program in deafblindness at San Francisco State University and has worked exclusively in the field of deafblindness for 39 years. He served as project coordinator of California Deafblind Services from 1992 to 2021. Prior to joining the state deafblind project, he served for two years as a one-on-one teacher for a deafblind adolescent and another nine years as a teacher of deafblind young adults at the California School for the Blind. Maurice is a frequent presenter at state, national, and international conferences and has written extensively on educational issues specific to children and youth who are deafblind. He represents students who are deafblind on numerous state and national groups and organizations, including as the specialist in deafblindness for the California Transcribers and Educators of the Blind and Visually Impaired. He also serves as Co-Chair of the National Coalition on Deafblindness, which advocates for federal recognition of interveners and teachers of the deafblind in federal law.

Michelle at a conference wearing a hat with several flags behind her, next to a conference poster.

Michelle Clyne, M.S. Ed., is the coordinator of Project Reach: Illinois DeafBlind Services (the state’s deaf-blind project) and previously worked on the project as a deafblind specialist. Prior to that, she was a music therapist in a residential school for children and youth with deafblindness and additional disabilities. Michelle has volunteered for work related to deafblindness with Hilton-Perkins International and the Helen Keller National Center. She also helped develop the Illinois standards and test for the LBS II/Teacher of the Deaf-Blind, the revalidation of the CEC Deaf-Blind Intervener Standards, and several NCDB Open Hands, Open Access: Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules. She received certification as a deaf-blind specialist by the Illinois Certification Testing System 159 LBS II, and holds an Illinois PEL: Teacher of Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired credential and an Illinois Early Intervention credential as a Developmental Therapist – Vision Specialist with evaluation credentials. While a part-time instructor at Illinois State University, Michelle taught for the El Vista (Early Learning Visual Impairment Services Training and Advancement) program. Illinois State University, Michelle taught for the El Vista (Early Learning Visual Impairment Services Training and Advancement) program.