Multiple Disabilities and DeafBlind Division (Division 3)

Welcome to the Multiple Disabilities & DeafBlind Division.

We fulfill the mission of Division 3 through collaboration with other AERBVI divisions and partnerships with organizations sharing similar goals. Members assist in the development of professional standards, and support of legislative and educational initiatives at the state and national levels, and we promote the understanding of the impact of multiple disabilities/DeafBlindness upon all aspects of life. Our division shares and encourages members to engage in meaningful professional development opportunities and to add to the breadth and depth of knowledge in our field through research and writing.

Here you will find information on our Mission StatementResources, and Awards.

“The Division promotes communication and exchange of ideas among its membership and fosters a sense of unity within the field and cooperation with regions and chapters; promotes and publicizes specialized services to persons with disabilities and their families; compiles and dispenses information about professional training opportunities; promote in-service training opportunities; fosters research and writing in the field; assists in developing professional standards; promotes community acceptance and integration of affected individuals; promotes and advocates for legislative issues impacting the quality of life of affected persons and promotes the development of assistive and instructional technology needed by affected persons.”

Special Division Event: “Virtual Educational Session Self-Regulation/Sensory Processing and Availability for Learning”  Date:  February 12, 2018  Time:  1-2:30pm PST (4-5:30pm Eastern) 
Supporting Documents: PowerPoint  Proprioception  Vestibular   Follow the Child

Please click here for the Physical Education for Children with Moderate to Severe Disabilities flyer.

Webinar- Including Children with Moderate and Severe Disabilities into Physical Education, Recreation and Sport: Handout

Webinar- 3 Additional Handouts:  Modified PE,    Severe Book Flyer,    Teaching Children with Severe Disabilities

Interveners in the Home and Community
Beginning in 2012, NCDB facilitated a work group focused on exploring issues related to intervener services in the community and at home. This publication summarizes current knowledge about the use of interveners in these settings and proposes actions to provide greater access to interveners for people of all ages who are deaf-blind. Click here to read the entire publication.

Identification and Referral of Infants Who Are DeafBlind, 2014 Revision
This is a 2014 revised edition of an earlier white paper published by the NCDB Early Identification Work Group and expanded by the Early Identification and Referral Initiative Group. This updated version reflects the activities of the national initiative and the development of new tools and resources.

Strategies to Try
Teaching Strategies and Content Modifications for the Child with DeafBlindness

Instructional Strategies for Teaching Learners who are DeafBlind – Please use this PowerPoint as a resource for this link.

From the National Center on DeafBlindness: Learning & Instruction > Tactile Strategies
Individuals who are DeafBlind use touch to explore objects, to understand the relationship of those objects to their environment, to perceive feelings, to act and to communicate. There are various tactile communication methods and tactile language interventions. This section discusses those strategies and the relationship of touch to the communication and well-being of persons who are DeafBlind.

Congratulations to the 2018 Division 3 award winners:

The Samuel Gridley Howe Award for Outstanding Practice is presented to Nathalie DeWit.  She was nominated for her exemplary service to individuals with visual impairments and multiple disabilities, including DeafBlindness.

The Virginia Sowell Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field is presented to Dr. Lauren Lieberman for her work that has supported professional practice through her work in the field.

Congratulations and thank you both for your wonderful contributions and support to our field and individuals with visual impairments and multiple disabilities, including DeafBlindness.

Past Recipients of the Samuel Gridley Howe Award for Outstanding Practice

2014 – Betsy McGinnity
2012 – Bernadette Van Den Tillaart
2010 – Dawn Saunders
2008 – Jackie Brennan
2006 – Kate Moss
2004 – Mary Morse
2002 – Carolyn Monaco
2000 – Barbara McLetchie

Past Recipients of the Virginia Sowell Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field

2014 – Ann Pilewskie
2012 – Jim Durkel
2010 – Cyrill Miller
2008 – Mike Collins
2006 – Susan Bruce
2004 – Bernadette Kappen
2002 – Millie Smith
2000 – Marianne Riggio
1998 – Rosanne Silberman

All recipients of Division Awards must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a longitudinal record of work in services to children youth and/or adults with DeafBlindness/multiple disabilities. Have gained the respect of peers, professionals from other disciplines, and the families and individuals served.
  • Be a member of a discipline (e.g., education, rehabilitation, medicine, social work, health-related professions, etc.) that has a direct impact on individuals with DeafBlindness/multiple disabilities.

The qualities we seek in nominees are:

  • Demonstrated competence in the field.
  • Development or implementation of innovative approaches in the field.
  • Recognized contribution to the theory or practice of working with individuals with DeafBlindness/multiple disabilities.
  • Willingness to share knowledge with others.

These awards present a rare opportunity to honor some of the most dedicated people in our field.