PDE Announces Annual Deaf-Blind Child Count for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Students (January 27, 2020)

BSE Director Carole L. Clancy and Carl Beck, Director of the Bureau of Early Intervention Services and Family Supports,  have disseminated a memo titled Annual Deaf-Blind Child Count for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Students. Annually, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), requires the Pennsylvania Deaf-Blind Project to conduct the National Deaf-Blind Child Count, formerly called the National Deaf-Blind Census.  The Deaf-Blind Child Count records the number of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students who have dual sensory impairments or who are at risk of developing dual sensory impairments, and who are enrolled in early intervention or special education as of the December 1, 2017 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) child count. The count will be conducted beginning February 1, 2020.  LEAs must verify and submit their information no later than February 28, 2020.  It is important for Pennsylvania to have an accurate Deaf-Blind Child Count as this information is tied to funding research, training, and technical assistance for this population of children. LEAs are advised that, for the Deaf-Blind Child Count, the federal definition of deaf-blindness is more inclusive and extensive than the one used for the IDEA child count.  Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students should be reported in the count if they meet one or more of the following criteria: Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students whose primary or secondary diagnosis is deaf-blindness; Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students who have a mild to severe hearing loss and some degree of vision impairment that requires adaptations or modifications; Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students who have a diagnosis that places them at risk for developing a hearing loss and visual impairment; Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and students with multiple disabilities who may demonstrate inconsistent responses to light and sound.

 It is important for each Early Intervention Program and LEA to participate in the Deaf-Blind Child Count and to keep the following in mind: If they do not have any infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or students with deaf-blindness, you will still need to log in and identify that you are not educating anyone with deaf-blindness at the present time; If they are educating an infant, toddler, preschooler, or student with dual sensory impairments, you will need to either enter a new record or verify information about a child who already exists in the system; School-age and preschool programs are encouraged to work closely with contracted providers (e.g., Approved Private Schools, Charter Schools for the Deaf or Blind) to ensure an accurate count of children; Connecting families of children who are deaf-blind with supporting networks and information is vital.  A feature of the Deaf-Blind Child Count, initiated two years ago, is a letter which you will be asked to send to the family of each child listed in your count.  The letter provides information which will link them to support and information for their family.

 Deaf-Blind Child Count – Approved Private School (APS) Entries:  All Approved Private Schools (APSs) entered their student data prior to the Deaf-Blind Child Count being opened for Early Intervention programs, school districts, charter schools, and service providers.  While there are few infants and toddlers served in an APS, you may see a child in the Deaf-Blind Child Count which has been entered by an APS.  For those programs with many students who qualify, this will save them valuable time.  This was done by all APSs even if there are no students who qualify for the Deaf-Blind Child Count enrolled in their school.  As the Early Intervention Program or LEA for these respective students, you must either confirm that the student is your responsibility or reject them if the student is not within your catchment area or in the age range of children you serve.  After you confirm that you are the Early Intervention Program or LEA for the student, you can update other data as necessary. 

 The Early Intervention Program responsible for providing early intervention services to the entered child should confirm that the child is their responsibility.  If the child is not the responsibility of the program (i.e., the child is not within your county/county joinder or in the age range of children you serve), please email dbchildcount@pattan.net.

 The Deaf-Blind Child Count website is: https://www.leaderservices.com/_DBcensus. The process for entering information is as follows:

 For Early Intervention Programs: Log in with your username and password; If the username or password for the Deaf-Blind Child Count is not known, use the “Forget your Login Info” link on the Deaf-Blind Child Count website to have the information emailed to the person responsible.

 For School Districts and Charter Schools: Log in using the LEA AUN number as the username; The password for the system is the same password that is used to access the Special Education monitoring system; If the password is not known, use the “Forget your Login Info” link on the Deaf-Blind Child Count website to have the information emailed to the person responsible.

For Preschool Early Intervention Providers: Log in using the Early Intervention Provider PELICAN ID as the username; If the password for the Deaf-Blind Child Count is not known, use the “Forget your Login Info” link on the Deaf-Blind Child Count website to have the information emailed to the person responsible.

 Any questions regarding the data collection system or responsibilities for entering child data into the Deaf-Blind Child Count, should be submitted to dbchildcount@pattan.net.