ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : COM-09-129

Date Created : 02/20/2009


Co-op Directors
other: All Principals
LEA Supervisors
EC Coordinators

Type of Memo: Administrative
Response Required: Yes
Section:   Central Administration - Dr. Diana Julian, Deputy Commissioner
Special Ed Programs: 2008 Federal Deafblind Census Form

Regulatory Authority:
20 U.S.C.A. Section 1400 et seq.

Contact Person:
Sandra Bourgeois

Phone Number:


The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education Project for Children with Deafblindness is preparing the annual federal census of Arkansas children from birth to age 21 identified as having deafblindness. The Project is required to submit the annual report to the U. S. Department of Education (USDOE) on the children identified as deafblind in the State of Arkansas. The purpose of this Commissioner’s Memo is to assist in the identification of children in Arkansas identified as deafblind for purposes of the annual report.

The Project is supported through a federally-funded grant administered by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education Unit that provides technical assistance to educators and agency personnel serving children identified as deafblind and to the families of the children. On-site consultation, technical assistance and family support and resources are sources of assistance available to teachers and families of students identified as being deafblind. Parents of identified children are eligible to participate in parent activities sponsored by the Project, as well as, to receive mail-outs, newsletters and other forms of technical assistance.

Attached is a National Census Information Form to use to refer or identify children eligible for follow-up by the Project. The form has been simplified as much as possible and includes all the information required by the U.S. Department of Education for the annual Deafblind Census. (**See Note)

Children referred to the Project do not have to be totally deaf and totally blind, and also do not have to have been identified as deafblind on the December 1 Child Count, in order to meet the eligibility requirements of the Project. The child must, however, have both vision and hearing impairments to some degree, or have cognitive impairments that limit the use of both vision and hearing for the child. The definition of deafblindness is included on the last page of the attached National Census Information Form.

Please consider all of the children served by the district to determine who might qualify for follow-up by the Project, and complete a National Census Information Form on each child who may be eligible. Again, a child did not have to be counted as deafblind on the December 1 Child Count to be eligible for follow-up by the Project. Often the children are counted on the December 1 Child Count as having Mental Retardation, Multiple Disabilities or Other Health Impairments. If unsure about a child’s eligibility, please complete a National Census Information Form to refer the child to the Project. Project staff will make the final determination as to eligibility on all children referred.

The public agency’s cooperation is appreciated in the Project’s efforts to identify children who are deafblind residing within the State of Arkansas. Please return the completed Deafblind Census no later than March 16, 2009, to:

Arkansas Project for Children with Deafblindness
Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education
1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201
Attention: Beth Bourgeois

For additional information or questions contact Beth Bourgeois, Project Family Consultant, at 501-682-4222, by fax at 501-682-4248, or via e-mail at

**Note: If there are children residing in the district who have been identified previously for the Project as having deafblindness, the district will receive a separate letter from the Project identifying the children. A National Census Information Update Form will be enclosed with that letter, with instructions for providing updated information on the children.


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