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“Do WITH, not for”

Who are interveners?

  • Individuals with specialized training to work with children and youth who have combined hearing and vision loss (deafblindness) and work in a 1-on-1 relationship with children/youth who are deafblind.
  • Those who have completed the intervener training series and are certified through the National Intervener Certification E-portfolio process or are actively working towards national certification.
  • Trained individuals who may work with and support children and youth with combined hearing and vision loss from infancy up to age 22 in many settings including early intervention in homes, preschool, schools, transition programs and in the community.

Who do interveners work with?

Children and youth who:

  • Have combined hearing and vision loss, with or without additional disabilities
  • Need consistent 1-on-1 support to participate in or access activities and enhance their independence.
  • Require support for communication, language interactions, concept development, curricular modifications or adaptations.
  • Require support to connect with and interact with others.
  • May not otherwise access or attend to instruction

What do interveners do?

  • Provide access to information that others get through hearing and vision.  For example, for students in a general education setting, directions written and spoken might not be accessible because of the student’s lack of access visually and through listening to directions.
  • Maintain a trusting, interactive relationship to promote social and emotional well-being, but also to develop independence by providing environmental information and social language.
  • Support students with combined hearing and vision loss to reach their potential.
  • Collaborate with school teams to increase educational outcomes.

Correa-Torres, S. (2008). The nature of the social experiences of students with deafblindness who are educated in inclusive settings. Journal of Visual Impairments & Blindness, 102, 272-283. Nelson, C., Hyte, H., & Greenfield, R. (2016). Increasing self-regulation and classroom participation of a child who is deafblind. American Annals of the Deaf, 160, 496-509. Parker, A. T., & Nelson, C. (2016). Toward a comprehensive system of personnel development in deafblind education. American Annals of the Deaf, 161, 486-501. Watkins, S., Clark, T., Strong, C., & Barringer, D. (1994). The effectiveness of an intervener model of services for young deafblind children. American Annals of the Deaf, 139, 404-409.

This document was developed using references from Michigan DeafBlind Central’s fact sheet including the National Center on Deaf-Blindness fact sheet entitled “Definition of Intervener Services and Interveners in Educational Settings,” the Utah State University fact sheet entitled “Educational Interveners for Children Who are DeafBlind,” and the DeafBlind Central fact sheet entitled “Comparison of Possible Supports for Students who are DeafBlind.”

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