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Who should be reported to the Indiana Deaf-Blind census?

Any child, birth through 21 years of age, who has a combined vision and hearing loss, including those with additional disabilities should be reported. Persons who are deaf-blind are not necessarily totally blind and/or totally deaf. Degrees of vision and hearing loss can range from mild to severe, the losses can be functional or include a progressive condition. With any combination of these losses a person may be considered deaf-blind and should be reported on the census.

What if a child has multiple disabilities that include vision and hearing problems?

Please complete a census form for all students who have vision and hearing problems, regardless of the presence or absence of additional disabilities. Over 90% of children who are deaf-blind have additional disabilities.


What is the Indiana Deaf-Blind Services Project?

The IDBSP is funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and supported by the Indiana Department of Education to identify infants, children and youth (birth-21) who have combined vision and hearing losses (deaf-blindness). Once identified, the IDBSP is available to provide quality educational services to families, service providers, and educators.

Who should review a previously completed census form or complete a census form for a new student?

Ideally, the census form should be completed by the service provider who knows and works with the child. However, anyone with access to the child’s file can complete the form. If you prefer, you can have your representative use your account information or request his or her own account from us. Just contact Lisa Poff for more information about a new account.

Do I need to sign the form?

Yes. If you are completing or updating a form, please sign or print your name at the bottom of the last page. It is important for there to be someone we can get in touch with if there is a question about the form.

What if we don’t have any deaf-blind students in our district/area at this time?

While it is possible that you may not have any students with combined hearing and vision problems, we know that statistically, there should be approximately two students who are deaf-blind for every 1,000 receiving special education services. Currently, the IDBSP has 219 individuals (birth-age 21) on our census. For the Indiana Parts B & C population, we should have approximately 382 infants, toddlers, children and youth on the census. Please help us to carefully identify and serve those individuals with combined vision and hearing losses. The IDBSP staff are available to assist you in your identification efforts.

What is the definition of “documented functional vision loss” as determined by a Functional Vision Assessment?

 A non-clinical assessment carried out by a trained vision specialist using commonly accepted assessment tools, checklists, and measures for making educated judgments about the functional use of hearing.

What is the definition of “documented functional hearing loss” as determined by a Functional Hearing Assessment?

A non-clinical assessment carried out by a trained hearing specialist using commonly accepted assessment tools, checklists and measures for making educated judgments about the functional use of hearing.

What if the hearing and vision problems are cortical in nature and there is no medical diagnosis?

Please include children with sensory impairments that are cortical in nature (cerebral or cortical visual impairment, central auditory processing disorder, and/or auditory neuropathy) on the census. These students usually require adaptations and modifications to their programs, including the design of effective communication systems.

What if deaf-blindness is not listed as the student’s primary disability on her or his IEP?

It doesn’t matter which primary disability is identified on the IEP. While the IDBSP would like to see all students who have vision and hearing impairments identified as deaf-blind, we know that most students who are deaf-blind are identified under other federal/state disability categories.

Can I release information to the IDBSP without express parental consent?

Yes. Please be assured that the information requested is for the purposes outlined in FERPA Reg. 99.31 (a)(6): “An educational agency or institution may disclose personally identifiable information from education records of a student without the written consent of the parent. . .if the disclosure is: (6) to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction . . . .”

Does reporting a child on the census obligate our program to provide services such as vision, hearing, orientation and mobility?

No. Individualized needs and services are determined by the family and educators through the IEP or IFSP process.

How can I get more Indiana Registry of Persons who are Deaf-Blind forms?

Please feel free to make additional copies of the new student form to register additional students. It is also available on our website at: