In the United States, there are approximately 10,500 (2015) children identified as having combined hearing-vision loss (aka deafblindness). The Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) states “Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of the individual to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”

As a child transitions from early childhood services to a school-age program, a parent’s active participation in the development of the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) becomes of paramount importance. There are numerous resources and organizations, including state-level resources from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Office for Exceptional Children (OEC), available to increase an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the IEP process and requirements. “A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education”, general information and information related to educational records, dispute resolution, discipline, unilateral placement of children with disabilities by parents in a private school at public expense, and parent notification of scholarship programs for students with disabilities. (www.education.ohio.gov search word special education forms)

As a child approaches the age of 14, the IEP focuses on post-secondary transition planning and the development of a post-secondary transition plan. When a child turns 14, he/she is required to be invited to attend all IEP meetings and be involved in the development of the transition plan a required component of the IEP. Transition information, links to resources and information about requirements for school districts under IDEA are available from the Office for Exceptional Children (www.education.ohio.gov) and the Ohio Center for Deafblind Education (www.ohiodeafblind.org).

Planning through the IEP’s post-secondary transition planning process beginning at age 14 helps support the development of skills a child needed by the child for a successful transition to adulthood.

Explore Local Resources

resource-map-1