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Early Identification and Referral Toolbox

Take Action

This section provides examples of suggested activities and materials to help you address needs in your state. Not all are relevant to every state deaf-blind project. Select those most likely to help you achieve your desired outcomes.

Raise Awareness and Educate Part C Personnel About Deaf-Blindness


Most Part C personnel have limited experience with deaf-blindness, so it’s essential to provide information and training to increase their knowledge of: 

  • Common risk factors and etiologies 
  • The unique needs of infants and toddlers with deaf-blindness
  • What your project does and how to contact you

Talk to your Part C Program Coordinator about their personnel information and training  needs. Together, devise a training and dissemination plan. The type of personnel and level of expertise vary by state, but typically include individuals who provide direct services to children (e.g. developmental specialists, OTs, SLPs, PTs, TVIs, individuals who provide family support, and state and regional administrators).

Public service announcements (PSAs) are another excellent way to raise awareness of the uniqueness of deaf-blindness and your state deaf-blind project. 



The following handouts can be used to raise awareness. Add your project's logo and contact information, but keep references and permissions for any original sources.

Rack Card: Identifying Infants and Toddlers with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss
Quick and easy to digest, this basic deaf-blind awareness information can be placed on tables or in racks at Part C regional offices.

Factsheet: Identifying Infants and Toddlers with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss
Provides information on how to identify infants and toddlers who are deaf-blind. Can be disseminated at regional or statewide training events.

The Impact of Combined Vision and Hearing Loss 
Helps providers understand how deaf-blindness influences learning.

The Importance of Hearing and Vision Testing
A brief fact sheet on the importance of early hearing and vision testing that Part C providers can share with families.

Information about risk factors:


How to Create the Perfect Public Service Announcement

For slide presentations and other training materials, see "Provide Training" below.

Improve Referral Processes


Many state deaf-blind projects have found that referrals increased after they worked with Part C to establish a formal referral process and revised their referral materials. If your project has not already done this, you may want to consider the following activities.

Work with your Part C coordinator to create a memorandum of understanding or other type of agreement that outlines how they should refer children with suspected or confirmed vision and hearing loss to your project.

Create concise, easy-to-read explanatory materials and parent consent and referral forms that are in compliance with state Part C policies.

Provide Training


Connect with your state’s CSPD coordinator to offer deaf-blind specific training or identify opportunities to integrate training on deaf-blindness into existing programs in the areas of deaf with disabilities/deaf plus, children with complex needs, or multiple disabilities.

Contact state chapters of organizations that provide professional development and ask to incorporate training on deaf-blindness.




Training Materials:


Share Screening and Assessment Tools


There are a number of tools that Part C early intervention providers can use in partnership with families to screen children they suspect may have vision or hearing loss. The information gathered can also be shared with health care providers when requesting additional vision or hearing testing.


What Does Your Child See?/What Does Your Child Hear?
A basic checklist to assist in determining the possibility of vision and/or hearing loss. Can be used in conversations with health care providers when requesting additional vision or hearing testing.

Informal Functional Hearing Evaluation (IFHE)
A comprehensive tool to help identify functional hearing loss. Can be used in conversations with health care providers when requesting audiological testing.

A Tool for Identifying Vision and Hearing Loss in Children with Multiple Disabilities
A checklist to assist in determining vision or hearing loss. Can be used in conversations with doctors when requesting additional vision or hearing  testing.

What is CVI?
Visual behaviors that suggest a child may have a cortical visual impairment (CVI). 

Join the Part C Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC)


The mission of Interagency Coordinating Councils (ICCs) is to advise and assist a state's Part C lead agency in carrying out its responsibilities. Members are appointed by governors, but any interested parties can attend public meetings. (State Interagency Coordinating Council, 2011)

Discuss with your Part C Coordinator the possibility of a staff member from your project or a family member involved with your project to serve on your state’s ICC. If unable to be a participating member, explore options for collaboration with an ICC council member likely to be interested in your project. 


State Interagency Coordinating Council. 34 C.F. R.§ 303.600. (2011).