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What does deaf-blind mean?

The federal definition of deaf-blindness is "concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination that creates such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education in programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness."  FR Dept. of Education, 34 CFR Parts 300 & 303. Vol. 64. No. 48.3/12/99

What that means is a condition in which both a hearing and vision loss are present at the same time.  The combined effect of these losses, even if both are mild, creates unique challenges for the individual that cannot be addressed solely within a special education program for the deaf or special education program for the blind.

Deaf-blindness affects more than 10,000 children between birth and 21 years of age in the United States.  It affects many children in the state of Mississippi.  Deaf-blindness has over 70 known causes, including Usher's syndrome, CHARGE syndrome, meningitis, and rubella syndrome.  Within each of these etiologies, there are specific concerns that carry lifelong challenges.  Appropriate education must address both the hearing and vision impairment, as well as any other disabilities that may be present.

Who is eligible?

Children living in Mississippi, birth through 21 years of age, with varying degrees of hearing and vision losses.

Who can request services?

Any parent, family member, or service/care provider of a child, birth through 21 years with both vision and hearing losses.

Referral Packet

If you have a child that is eligible for assistance through the MS Hearing-Vision Project, please print the following pdf file of our Initial Child Identification Form and send back to us along with any supporting documentation you might have.  Someone from our office will be in contact with you regarding your request.

 MHVP Initial Child Identification Form

Each form can also be downloaded separately if you wish:

Cover Letter - introduction and overview of MHVP

Checklist - use this list to ensure that all necessary documents are submitted

Complete Application- to be completed, signed, and returned in order to have child placed on federal registry

Release of Information - must be signed and returned BEFORE MHVP can work with child

Federal Definition of Deaf-Blindness

Brochure - English

Brochure - Spanish

Return Envelope - print, cut, and glue or tape to your envelope to send application and documentation back to the project.