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Sponsored Research Office

National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

Project Director:


Dr. Jay Gense

Contact Phone:


800-854-9376 (Toll Free)




Funding Source:


U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Project Description:

The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) is a national technical assistance and dissemination center for children and youth who are deaf-blind. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), NCDB builds on the technical assistance activities of NTAC, the information services and dissemination activities of DB-LINK and adds a third focus related to personnel training. NCDB brings together the resources of three agencies with long histories of expertise in the field of deaf-blindness, The Teaching Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University, the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC), and the Hilton/Perkins Program at Perkins School for the Blind. NCDB works collaboratively with families, federal, state and local agencies to provide technical assistance, information and personnel training.

The consortium focuses on two major purposes as required by OSEP. The first is to promote academic achievement and results for children and youth (from birth to age 26) who are deaf-blind, through technical assistance, model demonstration, and information dissemination activities that are supported by evidence-based practices. Activities are directed toward families, service providers, state deaf-blind projects, state and local education agencies, and other organizations responsible for providing early intervention, education, and transition services. The second purpose is to assist in addressing state-identified needs for highly qualified personnel who have the necessary skills and knowledge to serve children and youth who are deaf-blind.

The following objectives provide an overview of NCDB activities:

  1. Communicate, collaborate, and form partnerships as directed by OSEP and with agencies, organizations, and projects in order to improve results for children and youth and their families.
  2. Implement an ongoing, multilevel needs assessment to systematically identify the needs of children and youth, their families, and service providers, including personnel training, in order to adequately and appropriately address those needs.
  3. Provide national leadership in the implementation of evidence-based practices to address gaps in knowledge and to scale up current practices.
  4. Implement an array of technical assistance and personnel-training activities to build the capacity of state and local agencies to meet the needs of children and youth who are deaf-blind and their families.
  5. Utilize collaborative partnerships and facilitated efforts to build the capacity of youth who are deaf-blind and their families in order to promote self-advocacy, personal empowerment, and knowledge of deaf-blindness.
  6. Provide leadership in a coordinated national effort to promote personnel training on the implementation of IDEA and evidence-based practices in order to address the shortage of leadership and highly qualified personnel in the field of deaf-blindness.
  7. Identify, collect, organize, and disseminate information related to deaf-blindness, including evidence-based practices, in order to respond to inquiries and increase knowledge that promotes effective early intervention, education, and transition services, and supports families.
  8. Expand the utilization of information resources by developing and disseminating accessible products that synthesize evidence-based research, effective practices, and emerging knowledge.
  9. Implement a comprehensive system of evaluation to assess the impact of the consortium's objectives and activities across the four outcome domains of child, family, service provider, and systems.
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