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Toolbox Editor's Note: A deafblind intervener is a separate class of paraprofessional.  The position has been recognized by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), Office for Special Education Programs (OSEP), and the National Coalition on Deafblindness. Professional standards and practices have been developed and reviewed by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).  National credentials are being sought from Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).

Below is a suggested job description that was developed by administrators, parents, paraprofessionals, and VI professionals. For more information about interveners, contact a member of the Deafblind Outreach Team at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired or search the website: www.tsbvi.edu.  Additional information is available in Interveners in the Classroom: Guidelines for Teams Working with Students Who Are Deafblind from the SKI-HI Institute: http://www.tsbvi.edu/Outreach/deafblind/intervener-guidelinespdf.pdf

Job Title

Intervener for students

Major Responsibilities and Duties

An intervener is a staff position designated to provide direct support to a student with deafblindness for all or part of the instructional day, as determined by the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP). The decision to designate an intervener is based on the level of support needed by a student to participate effectively in his/her instructional environment(s) as described by the IEP. The intervener works cooperatively with parents and a variety of direct service providers and consultants including: classroom teachers; teachers of children with hearing impairments, visual impairments, or severe disabilities; speech therapists; occupational and physical therapists; orientation and mobility instructors; and other professionals, as well as paraprofessionals.

Rationale

A child who is deafblind needs to have the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with a person who will consistently be available to interpret the world for the child. The child must have continual access to a person who communicates effectively so that the individual can develop a sense of trust and security that will enable the child to learn. Many students with deafblindness require extensive and novel modifications to an existing educational model. The services of an intervener can be used to individualize the process. An intervener serves as a bridge to the world for a child who has deafblindness.

Supervisory Structure

Works in a team model and is directly supervised and evaluated by administrative and disability-specific staff (staff with expertise in visual and/or auditory impairments)

Qualifications

Completion of a 2-year program of studies in the area of intervener for deafblind preferred

Examples of Key Duties

  • The intervener's specific duties will be individualized according to the needs of the child and the profile of the current educational placement. Typically, duties may include:
  • Primary responsibility is to provide direct support to a student with deafblindness during all or part of a school day as part of an educational team, and as indicated in the student's IEP
  • Follows the student's IEP and the modifications and instructional techniques recommended by related service staff
  • Becomes proficient in students' individual communication methods and strategies
  • Creates instructional materials as needed
  • Accompanies and supports the student during community-based instruction
  • Visits or provides instruction in the student's home as deemed appropriate by the IEP committee
  • Maintains communication between home and school, and keeps a daily log of information about the student and his/her activities
  • Participates in IEP meetings and student staff meetings Participates in the assessment of the student and in the preparation of IEPs, progress reports, behavior plans, data collection, and other documentation for program monitoring
  • Participates in site-based, regional, and statewide training in the area of deafblindness
  • Collaborates in a team model on issues related to deafblindness

Work Attitudes

  • Feels comfortable working in close physical proximity to students while frequently using touch to communicate with and instruct students who are primarily tactile learners
  • Demonstrates frustration tolerance, emotional maturity, stability, and ability to perform under stress
  • Shows ability to exercise good judgment, cooperation, tact, and discretion in dealing with the student, family, and others
  • Shows interest in developing additional knowledge and skills
  • Follows team decisions, established policies and procedures, and designated lines of communication and authority