What is the National Child Count (Census)?
Each year in December, the Minnesota DeafBlind Project contacts teachers of blind/visually impaired and teachers of deaf/hard of hearing to assist with the annual child count. This collaborative effort is used to identify and count infants/children/youth who have combined hearing and vision loss (deafblindness).
The purpose of this data collection is to help plan for early childhood, educational, and transition to adulthood services. The child count is also one factor that the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) uses to determine the funding level of state deafblind projects. All personal information is kept strictly confidential as stated in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Trends in the child count data also help the Minnesota DeafBlind Project to develop service plans to support families and education teams with training, resources, and information. For example, if there are more students identified with a specific communication need, the Project might develop a workshop or training for families and schools to understand what is needed and to train for specific communication skills.