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As the theoretical works included in this website have shown, “assessment” for children who are deafblind is not your ordinary normed, scaled “test.” Instead, in order to get useful information about the DB student you serve, you will need to find instruments that emphasize security and communication, that allow you to know and be guiding by the child as she is, and not as compared to others.

1. Child-guided Strategies for Assessing Children who are Deafblind or have Multiple Disabilities [CD-ROM]: Nelson, Catherine; van Dijk, Jan, Dr. The Netherlands: AapNootMuis Educainment, [2001] .

Jan van Dijk’s assessment follows the lead of the child, with the child's interests and movements guiding the assessment. It looks at the underlying processes of learning including biobehavioral state, orienting response, habituation, anticipation and routine learning and their use in social interaction, communication and problem solving. Each area is described and suggestions for assessment and intervention in each area are provided. A sample protocol with observations, child strengths and needs, and suggestions for intervention is included.

And, a paper about the CD-Rom ...

Child-Guided Strategies for Understanding Children who are Deafblind or have Severe Multiple Disabilities: The van Dijk Approach to Assessment / Nelson, Catherine;van Dijk, Jan. The Netherlands: Instituut Voor Doven, 2001.

This paper describes a process for assessing young children with severe multiple disabilities that was developed by Dr. van Dijk and colleagues in the Netherlands. Accompanies a CD-Rom published by van Dijk.

Publisher's web site: http://www.aapnootmuis.com/

The cost for the CD-ROM is $50.00. To order send a check (payable to Joe Franken) to Joe Franken, 4619 Spyglass Drive, Dallas, TX 75287. E-mail: franbola@sbcglobal.net.

2. Home Talk: A Family Assessment of Children who are Deafblind. US Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education, available through DB-Link at dblink@tr.wou.edu

Home Talk is primarily a structured observation, a thorough one, and a good place to start in terms of getting to know who your DB student “really is. This instrument is a user-friendly assessment in four parts that focuses on:

  1. Basic family and physical information
  2. Describing the child’s interests, habits, talents, needs, behaviors
  3. Exploration of four areas of skill: People Skills, Solving Everyday Problems, Exploring the Environment, and Discovery and Learning
  4. Translating that information onto a “Parent-Professional Worksheet” that helps the team establish educational goals and activities

3. The Callier Azusa Scale:

Designed for use with DB and multiply disabled children, this scale examines motor development, perceptual abilities, daily living skills, language development, and socialization. Within each of these five areas are subscales made of sequential steps describing developmental milestones. This instrument is also observational and should be administered by individuals familiar with the child. Subscales are provided for the following abilities: postural control, locomotion, fine motor, and visual-motor (in the area of motor development); visual development, auditory development, and tactile development (in the area of perceptual abilities); undressing and dressing, personal hygiene, feeding skills, and toileting (in the area of daily living skills); receptive language, expressive language, and speech (in the area of language development); and socialization and development of self-concept (in the area of socialization).

Good Things about Callier Azusa:

Not so Good Things:

4. The Oregon Project for Preschool Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired links to another website

The OR Project is a comprehensive assessment and curriculum designed for use with children birth to six who are blind or visually impaired. It can be used by parents, teachers, vision specialists, counselors or therapists in the home or in the classroom setting.

The latest edition of the OR Project includes several significant changes. Approximately 200 additional skills were added, totaling more than 800 distinct developmental skills, each with corresponding teaching activities. This new edition provides computer graphing of an individual child’s profile to clearly depict the child's strengths and areas for instruction.

The Oregon Project consists of a:

Skills on The Oregon Project have been developmentally sequenced and arranged in age categories. All major skills needed by a child who is blind or visually impaired are included. The Skills Inventory is a criterion-referenced assessment, and enables educators to find the performance level, select long and short-term objectives, and record the acquisition of information from a completed OR Project Skills Inventory.

Other references re: assessment:

Activity and Environmental Survey: Mar, Harvey H.;Sall, Nancy;Rowland, Kathy M. New York: St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 2000.

This is a survey to assess students in the classroom or other setting to interpret their needs. It includes questions on activities, opportunity for interaction with peers, participation in the core activity, peer assistance to students’ needs, the role of the teacher or paraprofessional, the physical environment, and adaptation of materials and equipment to the students’ needs. Available from: St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 1000 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10019.

Assessment Intervention Matrix (AIM): Wolf-Schein, Enid G.;Schein, Jerome D. Coconut Creek, FL: Three Bridge Publishers, 1997.

This 1997 revision of the Assessment Intervention Matrix (AIM), is an initial-learning curriculum for individuals of all ages who are severely handicapped. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between assessment and intervention, allowing the individual maximum opportunity to develop communication and daily living skills in realistic, meaningful contexts, both at school and at home. The AIM process is based on a system of continuous assessment, structured, intensive intervention, and reassessment. It allows the intervenor to measure and record the student's status over short and long periods of time and is flexible enough to allow teachers to tailor it to the needs of students with a wide variety of abilities and deficits. Part 1 focuses on the following skills: drinking and pouring, eating, dressing, and toileting. Part 2 focuses on personal care, housekeeping, and food preparation. Daily assessment forms are included. Available from: Three Bridge Publishers, 1703 Andros Isle Suite J-2, Coconut Creek, FL 33066. Phone: (954)978-1368. Fax: (954)968-3970. E-mail: scheinej@aol.com.

Evaluation and Educational Programming of Deaf-Blind/Severely Multihandicapped Students: Sensorimotor Stage / Jones, Carroll J. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 2002.

This is an updated and revised edition of a teacher-training text and resource volume for teachers and other professionals, covering both theoretical background information and diagnostic information, for use in program planning, and in writing and monitoring IEPs. It is designed for use for not only students with deafblindness and severe disabilities, but also children of any disability functioning within the sensorimotor stage of development. The text covers theoretical background information for classroom teachers and related service professionals to use in determining functional abilities for program planning and writing IEPs, collecting data to monitor IEPs, and ideas for hands-on materials that teachers can create and use for instruction in their classrooms. The book is organized into nine chapters concerning the major educational areas for preschool-primary age/grade students with deafblindness and severe disabilities functioning within the sensorimotor stage of development. Also presents materials used in evaluation, programming, and IEP monitoring for vision impairment, hearing impairment, proximal sensory impairment, motor deficits and delays, social and emotional impairment. Each chapter includes sensorimotor stage developmental age norms, scope and sequence lists of programming skills, descriptions of meeting guidelines, case studies, and programming strategies. (available through online book sellers)