The Arkansas Project for Children With Deafblindness is preparing its annual federal census of Arkansas children from birth to age 21 who have been identified as deafblind. The Project is required to submit this annual report to the US Department of Education on the children identified as deafblind in the State of Arkansas. The purpose of this Director's Memo is to assist in increasing the identification of children in Arkansas who are deafblind, and to update the information on children already identified as deafblind for the purposes of the Project. The attached pamphlet provides additional information about the annual Deafblind Census.
Attached is a National Census Information form to use to refer or identify children who may be eligible for follow-up by the Project. It has been simplified as much as possible, and includes all the information required by the US 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, nor do they have to have been identified as deafblind on the December 1 Child Count, in order to meet the eligibility requirements of the Project. They must, however, have both vision and hearing impairments to some degree, or have cognitive impairments that limit the use of both their vision and hearing. (The definition of deafblindness is included on the last page of the attached National Census Information form.)
Please consider all the children you serve to determine who might qualify for follow-up by the Project, and complete a National Census Information form on each child you think may be eligible. Again, they do not have to have been counted as deafblind on the December 1 Child Count to be eligible for follow-up by the Project. Often these children are counted 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 him or her to the Project. Project staff will make the final determination of eligibility on all children referred.
The Project is a federal grant administered through the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education that provides technical assistance to educators and agency personnel who serve children identified as deafblind, and to the families of those children. On-site consultation is available to the teachers of students identified as deafblind. Parents of identified children are eligible to attend the annual parent training sponsored by the Project, as well as receive mail-outs, newsletters and other forms of technical assistance.
Please return the completed form(s) no later than February 11, 2000, to the address indicated below. The return address is also listed on the last page of the "National Census Information" form.
We appreciate your cooperation in our efforts to identify children who are deafblind who reside within the State of Arkansas. If you have any questions or need additional information, you may contact Darleen Riley Tripcony, Project Family Consultant, or Barbara Haynes, Project Education Consultant, at the ADE, Special Education Unit, at 501-682-4222.
Return completed form(s) by February 11, 2000, to:
Arkansas Project for Children with Deafblindness
Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education
#4 Capitol Mall, Room 105C
Little Rock, AR 72201
Attention: Darleen Riley Tripcony
**Note: If there are children residing in your district who have already been identified as deafblind by the Project, you will receive a separate letter from the Project identifying those children. A "National Census Information - Update" form will be enclosed with the letter, with instructions for providing updated information on those children.