Delineation of Roles Related to Safe and Independent Travel for the Student with Deafblindness

Young man uses a walker to travel with his COMS.
Young man uses a walker to travel with his COMS.

Due to the complexity of needs of students who are deafblind continuous input from a core group is often needed to guide daily programming. The function of the core team is to review, refine, and direct on-going educational programming and may include those who daily and weekly interact with the student (e.g. parent, intervener, classroom teacher, teacher of students with deafblindness, teacher of students with visual impairments). The core team should meet regularly (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly) based on the student’s needs. An extended team may meet with the core team when expertise is needed in specialized therapy areas (e.g. PT, OT, O&M). (Listed alphabetically, not in order of importance)

Audiologist

      • Providing training with personal amplification device of the student to Teacher of Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (TDHH)
      • Provide audiological evaluation and results of evaluation to Educational Team
      • Collaborate with Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), Teacher of Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (TDHH), Family, and other Educational Team Members
      • Selecting and programming appropriate personal amplification device and FM System/Classroom Amplification Device
      • Verification of proper working order of personal amplification device and FM System/Classroom Amplification Device
      • Providing training with personal amplification device of the student to other members of the Educational Team
      • Maintaining the personal amplification device to the extent necessary as the student develops independence

Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS):

      • Evaluate and instruct in use of audition for environmental sounds in functional setting
      • Communicate specific uses of environmental sounds to Audiologist, TDHH, and other members of Educational Team
      • Receive training on student’s use of their personal amplification device from Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH)
      • Write goals and objectives related to safe and independent travel skills
      • Provide written recommendations for adaptations related to safe and independent travel
      • Request attendance at the audiological evaluation if permitted

Intervener

      • Act as a communication bridge for the Orientation and Mobility Specialist and the student
      • Provide input to the team on the student’s preferences, dislikes, behaviors and orientation and mobility needs
      • Work with the student, family, and entire educational team to develop IEP goals and objectives
      • Reinforce orientation and mobility skills and concepts through activities and routines
      • Promote the student’s independence to ensure their needs (including safety) are met

Families

      • Complete assessment inventories that contributed to evaluation data
      • Working with the student on developing maintenance skills for the personal amplification device and FM System/Classroom Amplification Device
      • Practice skills introduced during instruction with TDHH and COMS
      • Provide information regarding student’s use of audition and ability to access environmental sounds in varied environments, positive aspects as well as challenges observed and expressed

Teacher of Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (TDHH)

      • Support the COMS and the audiologist’s collaboration to insure that the student’s personal amplification device includes programs to access environmental sounds targeted in the O&M evaluation.
      • Provides the Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist with training and practice in the use and maintenance of the student’s personal amplification device.
      • TDHH actively works with the COMS
          • To assess the child’s current ability to detect, discriminate and utilize the environmental sounds targeted for Orientation and Mobility skill development.
          • To write accommodations and strategies for the IEP to support the use of environmental sounds in Orientation and Mobility activities across all settings for developing independence in the school, home, and community
          • To write IEP objectives for auditory training for the sounds targeted in the Orientation and Mobility evaluation
      • Involve parents and other team members in implementing strategies for developing skills and concepts identified in goals and objectives related to environmental sounds and purposeful movement/independent travel

Teacher of Students with Deafblindness (TDB)

      • Educate Team on deafblindness and building auditory skills
      • Does not replace Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH), unless they are dual certified as Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH) and Teacher of Students with Visually Impairments (TVI)
      • Provide information regarding the impact of the child’s etiology on learning style and behavior
      • Evaluate the impact of the child’s vision loss and hearing loss on the acquisition and use of preferred mode of communication
      • Participates in all IEP or IFSP meetings to insure appropriate programming and services specific to deafblindness
      • Participates in developing Behavior Intervention Plans
      • Provide the families with information regarding services for students with deafblindness from state agencies
      • Supports the intervener

Teacher of Students with Visually Impairments (TVI)

      • Educate Team on impact of visual impairment on and developing visual skills for students with remaining vision
      • Does not replace Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH), unless they are dual certified as Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH) and Teacher of Students with Visually Impairments (TVI)
      • Evaluate the impact of the child’s vision loss on the acquisition and use of preferred mode of communication and learning media