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2017 National Child Count of Children and Youth Who Are Deaf-Blind Report

Part B Information

The distribution of Part B Disability Categories has remained fairly stable over the past 7 years. No significant shifts have occurred. Over two-thirds of all the children and youth in Part B have one of four designations: Multiple Disability (37.7%), Deaf-Blind (15.8%), Hearing Impaired (9.4%), or Visually Impaired (5.1%). This distribution has remained essentially unchanged for the past five years.

The percentage of young children, aged 3 to 5, educated in a regular early childhood education setting some portion of the day, has doubled in the past decade from less than 15% to 30%. Over 60% of school-age children and youth in special education are being served at least a portion of their day in a regular classroom in their local school. This is consistent across the age span.

Over one quarter (26.1%) of children and youth on the 2017 National Deaf-Blind Child Count participate in the regular curriculum as indicated by participating in statewide assessments tied to regular grade level standards. This is up slightly from 2016.

While educational placement does not determine access to the regular curriculum, nearly 78% of students taking state assessments tied to regular grade level standards were in a regular classroom some portion of their day.

The continued trend toward educational placement in inclusive settings, especially at the pre-school level, is significant and positive for children and families. This trend has profound implications on the need for information, resources, and access to expertise in deaf-blindness being available at a local level. Concurrently, as schools and Part C agencies continue to appropriately place and serve children locally, there are increased needs for more interventionists and teachers with knowledge of deaf-blind intervention and instruction, and for individualized supports, including the provision of intervener services.

While access to the general curriculum and graduation from high school has improved for the population of children and youth who are deaf-blind, significant efforts are needed to expand these opportunities.