TEA coordinates the provision of services to children who are blind or have a visual impairment (VI), deaf or hard of hearing (DHH), or DeafBlind (DB). This coordination is through collaboration
with the 20 Education Service Centers (ESCs), the Texas School for the Blind
and Visually Impaired (TSBVI), and the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD).
Students Who Are Blind or have a Visual Impairment
TEA is required to develop and administer a comprehensive statewide plan for the education of children under 21 years old who have a VI (see Texas Education Code (TEC) §300.002). The statewide plan address the diagnosis and evaluation, and educational programs for services to students in their home communities whenever possible. TEA fulfills these and additional responsibilities through collaboration with ESC Region 11 and TSBVI.
The agency is also a member of the Education of Blind and VI
Students Action committee, a statewide stakeholder group that provides
suggestions for action to state agencies and groups regarding students who have a VI. In addition, the agency coordinates with the American
Printing House for the Blind (APH) to provide instructional materials for qualifying students.
Students with Visual Impairments or who are DeafBlind TEA Forms
Services to Students Who Are DeafBlind
The Individuals with
Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 04) defines deafblindness
as "concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes
such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that
they cannot be accommodated in programs solely for children with deafness or
children with blindness" (34 CFR §300.8(c)(2)).
When an individualized educational program (IEP) is developed for students who are DeafBlind, an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee require participation from professionals certified in the education of
students with VI and auditory impairments (AI) (19 TAC §89.1131(b)(4)). TEA contracts with the Outreach
Division of the TSBVI to provide technical assistance to districts serving
students with DeafBlindness.
An intervener is an individual who has received specialized training to assist children who are deaf-blind by (a) facilitating access to environmental information, such as who is present, what is being said, and what activities are occurring, (b) supporting their development and use of communication skills, and (c) promoting their social and emotional well-being by maintaining a trusting and interactive relationship (Alsop, Blaha, & Kloos, 2000). For further information regarding interveners see: https://nationaldb.org/groups/page/9/national-intervener-services-initiative
Services to Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
TEA fulfills a requirement for a comprehensive statewide plan for educational services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) through a State DHH Plan (seeTEC §30.083). TEA works in collaboration with
ESC Region 11, the Educational Resource Center on Deafness (ERCOD) at TSD, and stakeholders from an interagency task force
referred to as the Texas National Agenda Action Committee (TNAAC).
Responsibilities are divided as follows:
Region 11 provides statewide leadership in areas related to services to infants
and toddlers, communication access, and access to the general curriculum.
provides outreach support to schools and families.
- TNAAC provides suggestions
for action regarding the alignment of the State DHH Plan with the National
Agenda for deaf and hard of hearing students.
A comprehensive statewide plan is required for the education of students under 21 years old who are VI and AI.
- State VI Plan-a tool to identify needs, set priorities, and
guide the service development and provision for students with visual
- State DB Plan-a tool to identify needs, set priorities, and
guide the service development and provision for students with DeafBlindness.
- State DHH Plan (33KB)-a
tool to help identify needs, set priorities, and guide services development and
provision to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The following guidance is provided for AI and VI students:
The following resources are provided for AI and VI students:
Statewide Leadership for students with visual impairments- ESC XI provides leadership, staff development,
technical assistance, and support to help Texas school districts meet the
educational needs of students who have visual impairments.
for students who are deaf or hard of hearing- ESC XI provides leadership, staff development,
technical assistance and support to help Texas school districts meet the
educational needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
TSD- Serves as a special public school in the
continuum of statewide placements for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Educational
Resource Center on Deafness (ERCOD) is a statewide resource to
parents of these children and professionals who serve them.
TSBVI- Serves as a special public school in
the continuum of statewide placements for students who have a visual
impairment. It is also a statewide resource to parents of these children and
professionals who serve them.
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
(DARS) Division for Blind Services (DBS)- Assists blind or
visually impaired individuals and their families. DBS envisions a Texas where
people who are blind or visually impaired reach their goals and enjoy the same
opportunities as other Texans to pursue independence and employment.
Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)- ECI is a statewide program for families with children, birth to
three, with disabilities and developmental delays. ECI supports families to
help their children reach their potential through developmental services.
Texas Department of
Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Office for Deaf and Hard of
Hearing Services (DHHS)- Works in
partnership with people who are deaf or hard of hearing to eliminate societal
and communication barriers in order to improve equal access. DHHS advocates for people of all ages who are deaf or
hard of hearing to enable them to express their freedoms, participate in
society to their individual potential, and reduce their isolation regardless of
location, socioeconomic status, or degree of disability.
DeafBlind Project- Operates through a federal grant to provide information and training
about deafblindness to families and the professionals that work with them. TEA contracts with the DeafBlind Outreach team at the TSBVI
to provide technical assistance to meet the unique needs of children, birth
through 21 years of age, who have both a vision and hearing impairment.
The following resources are provided for AI and VI students:
The National Agenda: Moving Forward on Achieving Educational Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students outlines a set of priorities
stated as goals designed to bring about significant improvement in quality and
nature of educational services and programs.
It is presented as an "agenda" or a list of things to be done in order to close
the achievement gap that exists for them.
Key to all the recommendations is the belief that communication access is a
fundamental human right and that every child has full access to all educational services.
The National Deaf Education Project (NDEP) is an historic coalition of parent, consumer, professional, and advocacy
organizations involved in the education of children who are deaf and hard of
hearing. The project's goals are to develop an effective, communication- and
language-driven educational delivery system.
Deaf Education (aka DeafEd.net) is sponsored in part by the Division for Communicative Disabilities
and Deafness (DCDD) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
The National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities, Revised is a historical statement of consensus in the field about how educational programs must change to meet the needs of students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities.
Printing House for the Blindis the world's
largest nonprofit organization creating educational, workplace, and independent
living products and services for people who are visually impaired.
Consortium on DeafBlindness (NCDB) is a national technical
assistance and dissemination center for children and youth who are DeafBlind.