Special Education Service Agency (SESA) is the recipient of federal funds under The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide technical assistance for children and youth, ages 0 through 21 years who have both vision and hearing impairments. Deafblindness provides services at no cost and in addition to those provided by schools and infant learning programs.
Q: My student/child is not totally deaf and blind. Does s/he still qualify for service?
A: The combined effects of both these sensory losses, even if both are mild, may qualify him or her as deafblindness. Since vision and hearing are the primary senses for learning, even mild losses can create unique needs in communication, mobility and overall learning which requires specialized supports and interventions. Also, many children with deafblindness have other disabilities in addition to their sensory losses (e.g., motor involvement, cognitive impairment, medical complexities, etc.)
Q: What is the cause of deafblindness and how many people are affected?
A: There is not a single cause for deafblindness. In fact, deafblindness has over 70 known causes. Regardless of the cause, the challenges of deafblindness are lifelong. Appropriate education must address both the hearing and vision impairments, as well as any other disabilities that may be present. This condition affects over 9,000 children between birth and 21 years of age in the United States.