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Programs for Students who are Deafblind

"Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness." 34 CFR 300.7 (c)

The Department of Public Instructions recognizes the value that the role of an intervener plays in the academic progress of a student identified with deafblindness. To demonstrate commitment to the efforts of training highly qualified personnel for students with deafblindness, the DPI has approved financial allocations through the Wisconsin Deafblind Technical Assistance Project (WDBTAP) to support school districts in providing high quality, useful and relevant training for their staff supporting this lowest of low incidence population. The Wisconsin Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Project (WDBTAP) is the state's federally-funded project that provides services to agencies, schools, children and families of deaf-blind children. Heidi Hollenberger is the Deaf-Blind Specialist through the Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WESP/DHH). Heidi provides technical assistance for students, schools, and parents as well as assessments, evaluations, and trainings.

The WDBTAP will reimburse a participant for the cost of the intervener training under specific conditions:
  • The individual that will receive training is currently working with a student identified with deafblindness
  • The student with deafblindness is current on the WDBTAP Deafblind Registry [contact Census Coordinator Jennifer Hudson-Stanek at (608)356-2023 if unsure]
Other conditions:
  • Participant must complete and submit an "Intervener Training Scholarship" on the WDBTAP website . This document outlines the parameters of cost reimbursement.

There are a few training options for obtaining national credentialing. The WDBTAP is currently in a position to financially support one of these programs but are looking into offering alternative options at a later date. Currently, the WDBTAP is accessing the Intervener Training Program through Utah State University and is in a position to reimbursement participants at the CEU/Non-Credit level. This comes out to $150 per credit x 12 credits or approximately $1800 for the full three semesters. Utah State University does offer the intervener training program for undergraduate and graduate credit as well. The WDBTAP will reimburse at the CEU/Non-Credit level and the participant is responsible for any costs beyond that base level. (Fall of 2018 Undergrad:$4500; Graduate: $5700). For example, if a participant opts to take the training for undergraduate credit: Undergraduate cost for three semesters = $4500 less $1800 reimbursed by WDBTAP = $2700 out of pocket after full reimbursement by WDBTAP. The schooling involves an on line learning platform, they do not meet at a specific time, but they are required to log in weekly. Past participants have reported an average of four hours per week of dedicated time to complete the assignments. Utah State University enrolls for Fall, Winter and Summer Semesters. A participant can begin the training program at the start of any of these semesters.

For any questions about interveners, intervener training, reimbursement process, or to look at upcoming events, please contact the Wisconsin Deafblind Technical Assistance Project at (608)356-2023 or visit their website.

Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Project – Resources
Checklist to Consider WDBTAP Supports and Services
Outreach and WDBTAP Request for Services Form