The Ohio Center for Deafblind Education (OCDBE) – a federal project funded to the University of Dayton from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, is proud to be working with a cohort of 28 educators from the across the state in an online professional development (PD) opportunity – Intervener Services Professional Development (PD). This PD is designed for teams of paraprofessionals and teachers who work with (or may work with) children with combined vision-hearing loss, children with sensory disabilities (visual impairment or hearing impairment), and children with multiple disabilities.

The concept of intervener services for individuals with combined vision-hearing loss arose in Canada in the 1970s, and has been evolving as a practice in the US over the past two decades. In that time, significant efforts by many individuals across the nation have improved the availability of intervener services for children with combined vision-hearing loss. Helen Keller described her teacher Annie Sullivan as “not only my eyes and ears, but also a light in all dark places, a bond between me and the life of the world.” Sullivan’s role was similar to today’s teachers/intervention specialists, and paraprofessionals that function as interveners, in providing access to information and communication, and facilitating the development of social and emotional well-being.

The OCDBE Intervener Services PD course is based on a set of high-quality online resources – Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) – developed by the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB). The OHOA resources provide an excellent vehicle for developing or enhancing knowledge and skills in the provision of intervener services. The intervener services PD began in August 2015 and includes two 12-week sessions over the course of the 2015-16 school year.

We will begin recruitment for additional cohorts of teams interested in participating in the PD. Please check the OCDBE web page periodically for additional information.

For more information about intervener services, go to NCDB.

For more information about intervener services PD in Ohio, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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