The Texas Deafblind Child Count
The Texas Education Agency (TEA), Division of Special Education, is required to report annually on individuals, 0-21 years of age, who are deafblind in Texas. This report requires a different type of information than the Child Count data mandated under IDEA. Through the Deafblind Child Count, the Texas Education Agency must annually report:
- the number of children who meet the criteria for being reported on the Deafblind Child Count served by age, severity, sex, and nature of deafblindness; and
- the types of services provided and the setting in which the services are provided.
The Deafblind Child Count provides information that is used for regional and statewide planning to develop funding and appropriate services for infants, children, and youth who are Deafblind. This child count report is more inclusive and extensive than the Child Count report done at the end of October that is required under the IDEA. It is important to point out that the federal definition of deafblindness is a functional definition which goes beyond medical and clinical determination of severity of two major sensory deficits and focuses on evidence of need for modification of special education practice.
The data needed should reflect the number of students with a visual impairment who were in the school district as of January 2, 2023, or the first day the district resumed following the winter holiday. Deadline to complete registration is January 31, 2023. Information on how to complete the count is provided in the video posted below.
Please note the following regarding deafblind student being counted on both the VI Registration and the Deafblind Child Count:
- Every student who is considered deafblind (or has IDEA eligibility for both AI and VI) on the VI Registration should be included on the Deafblind Child Count.
- And, every student who is included on the Deafblind Child Count should also be included on the Registration of Students in Texas with Visual Impairments.
Results from the latest count
The most recent result on the Texas Deafblind Child count is 846 with the largest numbers congregated in Dallas (138), Ft. Worth (116), and Houston (176). The map below shows the 2023 numbers for students who are visually impaired (which includes those who are deafblind) in the United States as are counted as part of the Blind & Visually Impaired Student Registry for the Federal Quota Program. This program provides funds for materials to schools based on the number of students included in this count. This includes high tech materials such as Braille notetakers as well as things like braille paper, abacus, and the Sensory Learning Kit. As the map indicates Texas has the second largest number of individuals on this count with 4,944.
Letter from OSERS)
The Office of Special Educations and Rehabilitation Services at the Department of Education have provided the following guidance document which you may download in a PDF File.
Questions About Eligibility:
For information regarding eligibility, and other frequently asked questions regarding this count, please refer to our informative FAQ video posted below. You may also reference the document “Let’s Talk DeafBlind Eligibility” linked below. These FAQ’s and their answers are here to help you in determining if a student should be placed on the DeafBlind Child Count. Word or PDF
PLAY BY CHAPTER:
2016 Deafblind Eligibility with Brent Pitt, formerly of TEA
Description: Interview from 2016 with Brent Pitt, formerly of TEA, and Sue Enoch, former TSBVI APH/VI Registration/Deafblind Child Count Coordinator on Child Count of Students in Texas who are Deafblind. Both staff members have since retired. As of Spring 2021 current contacts are: Nicholas Trotter, Visual Impairment Program Administrator and Deafblind Grant Director at Texas Education Agency email: email@example.com phone: 512-463-9414 and Brian Sobeck, TSBVI Systems Support Specialist, email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: (512) 206-9225.
- The Superintendent signatures will be collected electronically.
- At the end of the registration period, they will be notified by email that their page is open and given a password to access their district data.
- Once notified, they will have until February 15, 2021 to certify their district’s information. No paperwork will need to be submitted.
New or Noteworthy for the Texas Deafblind Child Count:
- NEW: All student data from the previous year will be cleared with the exception of the following fields: last name, first name, middle name, suffix, DOB, grade level, ethnicity, race, language of instruction, and home language. All other data fields will need to be entered and updated, where required. Otherwise, the site will not permit you to close out.
- NOTEWORTHY: In the Deafblind Child Count, the question about whether the student has an intervener has been modified. It was confusing to those who have a designated paraprofessional who may or may not be recognized as an intervener. The required question now will ask: Does the student have a designated paraprofessional/intervener? The answers will allow you to note either that:
1). the student does not have a designated support person, or
2). the student has a designated paraprofessional who is NOT certified as an intervener through NICE (National Intervener Certification E-Portfolio System) or NRCP (National Resource Center for Paraeducators).
3).the student does have a designated intervener who has been certified through national organizations.
- NOTEWORTHY: The VI and Section 504 Registrations have a pale yellow background, while the Texas Deafblind Child Count has a pale blue background. The Superintendent login is found on the Texas Deafblind Child Count login page.
- NOTEWORTHY: Search features will help you to find students even if there is a number or letter transposed. Also, there is a link in the top left of each application so that you can easily switch between the Annual VI Registration and the Texas Deafblind Child Count. All students on the Texas Deafblind Child Count are also entered in the Registration of Students with Visual Impairment, so you will be reminded to enter your students in both counts.
- NOTEWORTHY: Statewide assessments are listed for you. If your student took the STAAR alt 2, you will be asked to indicate whether it was scored or NAAR (no authentic academic response)
- NOTEWORTHY: Please remember that parent addresses change often. Please double check that you are providing a current address.
Consent for Release of Confidential Information
Each student who is registered as a student in Texas with a visual impairment, a student who is deafblind or a student with a visual impairment under Section 504 must have consent for sharing that information with other agencies. The consent form allows us to share their information for funding and resources available from American Printing House for the Blind, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), Blind Children’s Program; HHSC Early Intervention program; Texas Workforce Commission; regional Education Service Centers; and other agencies. It is important that the Consent for Release of Confidential Information form is signed annually and maintained in the student folder. (English Version, Spanish Version, and Vietnamese Version)