The U.S. Department of Education announced today a $10.5 million grant over five years to the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, a consortium of the Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University, the Helen Keller National Center, and Perkins School for the Blind for the continued operation of the National Technical Assistance Center for Children who are Deaf-Blind. The grant money was disbursed before the recent government shutdown and was not affected by the temporary lapse in funding.
The center will improve services and results for children who are deaf- blind by implementing systems change efforts that have proven successful. The center will also develop and implement innovative technology applications to support improved systems integration between the national center and the state and multi-state projects, and will engage in knowledge synthesis and product development activities to guide and evaluate universal, targeted, and intensive technical assistance efforts.
"This grant will help the National Center on Deaf-Blindness continue its very important work to ensure that deaf-blind students get the support and resources they need to succeed in their education," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "All students deserve to be equipped with the appropriate tools and services they need to help them improve academically."
To provide these services nationally, the university plans several activities, including developing an efficient, integrated national system for delivery of deaf-blind technical assistance and facilitating its use by the Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Network; promoting the use of evidence-based interventions and instruction for infants, children, and youth who are deaf-blind; delivering technical assistance at universal, targeted, and intensive levels in focused areas of high need; and improving opportunities for high-quality family engagement and partnerships, including enhanced collaborations with parent centers.
The grant is being awarded by the Education Department’s Office of Special Education Programs.