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Qualified personnel for our children

Get involved in advocating for Legislation! We are asking for a State Plan for Children who are DeafBlind that requires Qualified personnel. Join the growing list of supporters at the bottom of this page!

We all know that we do not have a law to protect our children. Families are at the mercy of their school districts, because there is no law that says our children are entitled to qualified personnel trained to teach our children. IDEA currently requires Teachers of Deaf / Hard of Hearing or Teachers of Blind / Visually Impaired, but does not require a Teacher of DeafBlind. We need both Teachers of DeafBlind and Interveners. Interveners will provide access to the information provided by the teacher. Typically, it is up to families to advocate for their children. 

The National Coalition on Deafblindness along with NFADB and many other organizations have been working since 2014 to include language related to the education of children and youth with deafblindness in federal legislation, the Alice Cogswell and Anne Macy Sullivan Act. Title III of the bill includes the following:

  • Designates intervener services in the “related services” listing
  • Reflects the need for the recognition of and training for teachers of the DeafBlind
  • Adapts the federal definition of deafblindness
  • Requires each state to specifically address DeafBlind issues in the development of its state plan

The Alice Cogswell and Anne Macy Sullivan Act with Title III was first introduced in Congress in 2015. It has been re-introduced each subsequent legislative session with little ground gained each time. In September, we hope to have a new version of the bill introduced by Representative Matt Cartwright's office. 

Deafblindness can create a tremendous gap in a person’s ability to gather information about the  environment around him or her. People with sight and hearing can easily pick up information about people, things and events through observation. To many people who are DeafBlind, these things do not exist without frequent and responsive support from someone who is trained to provide this type of information.

We know the difference that an Intervener can make for children who are DeafBlind! Interveners provide access! Teachers of DeafBlind are trained in techniques to train students with dual sensory loss. These two qualified personnel are critical to the education of a child who is DeafBlind.


Intervention for people who are DeafBlind can connect them to the world around them. It provides access to clear and consistent visual and auditory information, support for the development and use of receptive and expressive communication, and support for social and emotional well-being.

This connection to the world can be made through a person called an Intervener. An Intervener is defined as a person who works consistently one-to-one with an individual who is DeafBlind and who has training and specialized skills in deaf-blindness. (Adapted from

Related Resources

Teachers of Students with DeafBlindness

Teachers of students with deafblindness (TDB) are trained in how to identify a child as a student who meets the DeafBlind eligibility for educational services, provide appropriate educational evaluation/assessment specific to students who are DeafBlind, develop appropriate communication strategies for working with a student who is DeafBlind, determine the need for an intervener and work as part of the educational team to develop an IEP that addresses the unique needs of a student with deafblindness. TDBs provide support for educational interveners by assisting the intervener in the process of employing the educational strategies and accommodations that enable the student with deafblindness to access classroom instruction.  The inclusion of a TDB to clarify questions about a student’s DeafBlind eligibility, as well as the educational implications of their sensory needs,  empowers the IEP committee to create more informed decisions on how best to meet the unique needs of students with deafblindness in their school or district. 

Related Resources






  1. Patsy Izaguirre - DB Adult, TX
  2. Jacqueline Izaguirre - Parent, TX
  3. Joe Izaguirre - Parent, TX
  4. Melanie Knapp - Parent, TX
  5. Gary Knapp - Parent, TX
  6. Patti McGowan - Parent, PA
  7. Mike McGowan - Parent, PA
  8. Hunter McGowan - DB Adult, PA
  9. Linda Alsop - Friend, UT
  10. Gwen Sirmans - Parent, GA
  11. Jana Villemez - Friend, AR
  12. Lisa Poff - Friend
  13. Susan Donnelly - Parent, MO
  14. Butch Cersosimo - Parent, VT
  15. Mary Gyori - Parent, VT
  16. Molly Molenaur - Friend
  17. Katrina Michel - Parent, FL
  18. Bridget Fitzpatrick Wildschuetz - Friend
  19. Mark Potts - Parent, TX
  20. Amy Potts - Parent, TX
  21. Rees Potts - DB Consumer, TX
  22. Sally Prouty - Parent, MN
  23. Andrew Prouty - DB Adult, MN
  24. Mara LaViola - Parent, TX
  25. William LaViola - Parent, TX
  26. Zachary LaViola - DB Consumer, TX
  27. Barbara Loughran - Friend
  28. Sandra Schiffli-Salerno - Parent, PA
  29. Tish Smith - Parent, TX
  30. Cari Anderson - Parent, TX
  31. Linda Baker - Parent
  32. Robert Baker - Parent
  33. Jeffery Baker - DB Adult
  34. Robbie Caldwell - Parent, TX
  35. Ebony Manuel - Friend
  36. Sarah Williams - Friend
  37. Minnie Lambert - Parent, SC
  38. Douglas Delaney, SC
  39. Andrew Delaney, SC
  40. Barbara Polcaro - Friend
  41. Ricky Teed - Parent, IA
  42. Samantha Teed - Parent, IA
  43. Bruce Kulwicki - Friend, IN
  44. Kristyne Nguyen - Parent, TX
  45. Joseph Dinh - Friend, TX
  46. Jarod Dinh - Friend, TX
  47. Madelyne Dinh - Friend, TX
  48. Lucas Dinh - Friend, TX
  49. Nicholas Dinh - Friend, TX
  50. Kyle Dinh - DeafBlind Consumer, TX
  51. Vivecca Hartman - Parent, TX
  52. Donia Shirley - Parent, FL
  53. Molly Black - Parent, PA
  54. Garth Black - Parent, PA
  55. Alexis Ramirez - Parent, CA
  56. Cathy Springer - Parent, TX
  57. Myrna Medina - Parent, CA
  58. Lisa Lopatofsky - Parent, PA
  59. Holley Mott - Parent, AR
  60. Nolan Mott - Parent, AR
  61. Will Barbour - Parent, AR
  62. Jamey Allbaugh - Parent, AR
  63. Ashley Allbaugh - Parent, AR
  64. Demey Taylor - Parent, AR
  65. Josh Thompson - Parent, AR
  66. Sam Atcherson - Parent, AR
  67. Lynnette Chatman - Parent, AR
  68. Levi Mott - Parent, AR
  69. Carrie Andrews - Parent, AR
  70. LaWanda Ellington - Parent, AR
  71. Brian Matthews - Friend, CO
  72. Rory Matthews - Friend, TX
  73. Maureen Hurst - Friend, TX
  74. Heather Minhinnette - Friend, TX
  75. Courtney Hoyt - Friend, TX
  76. George Johnson - Friend, TX
  77. Dr. Stephanie Smith - Friend, TX
  78. Sarah Steele - Friend, TX
  79. Rich McGann - DB Adult, PA
  80. Cathy Springer - Parent, TX
  81. David Barksdale - Parent, TX
  82. Kathi Barksdale - Parent, TX
  83. Leigh Ann Fultz - Parent, TX
  84. Josh Fultz - Parent, TX
  85. Tim Allen - Parent, TX
  86. Becky Gibson - Parent, TX
  87. Steve Gibson - Parent, TX
  88. Sandra Felefli - Parent, TX
  89. Edgenie Bellah - Friend, TX
  90. Molly Roberts - Parent, TX
  91. Derrell Roberts - Parent, TX
  92. Andrew Lopatofsky - Parent, PA
  93. Jessica Lynch - Parent, PA
  94. David Coffin - Parent, PA
  95. Frank Lynch - Friend, PA
  96. Lucy Lynch - Friend, PA
  97. Juli Baumgarner - Friend, PA
  98. Danielle Cieply - Parent, PA
  99. Julia Murray, DB Adult, PA
  100. Bridgette Campbell - Parent, PA
  101. Roberta Rossman - Friend, PA
  102. Cherie Obiri - Parent, PA
  103. Akin Obiri - Parent, PA
  104. Ruth Braga - Parent, UT
  105. Johnine Bickauskas - Parent, PA
  106. Melinda Tobin - Parent, PA
  107. Gordon Boe - Friend, PA
  108. Stacy Phillips - Friend, PA
  109. Tara Kelly - Friend, PA
  110. Elizabeth Foster - Friend, PA
  111. Sheri Stanger - Parent, NY

OUR MISSION:  NFADB exists to empower the voices of families with individuals who are DeafBlind and advocate for their unique needs.


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Phone: 800.255.0411
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