The nature and prevalence of additional disabilities faced by the children and youth on the National Deaf-Blind Child Count have remained relatively stable during the past 5 years. Approximately 87% have been identified as having one or more additional disabilities. Most common are cognitive impairments, orthopedic impairments, and complex health care needs.
The percentage of children and youth who have orthopedic or physical disabilities has fluctuated between 59% and 61% during this time frame. Similarly, the percentage with intellectual/cognitive disabilities has fluctuated between 65% and 68%. Slightly fewer have complex health care needs, fluctuating between 51% and 53%.
The number of children with additional disabilities has increased over time. In 2005, just 13.1% of the children and youth on the count had four or more additional disabilities. In 2018, nearly 42% were reported as having four or more additional disabilities.
Conversely, more children and youth are also being identified with no additional disabilities. This group of children and youth has increased from 11.1% to 13.2% of the overall population over the past five years.