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Toolbox Editor's Note: A deafblind intervener is a new class of paraprofessional. Professional standards and practices are now emerging. Below is a suggested job description which was developed at a meeting which included administrators, parents, paraprofessionals and VI professionals. For more information about interveners, contact a member of the Deafblind Outreach Team at TSBVI. Contact information is included on the VI Consultants List in the Resources Section.

Suggested Job Description

Position: Intervener for Student with Deafblindness

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 Individual Educational Plan (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.

Qualifications: Experience with and/or desire to work with students with sensory impairments. Must be willing to participate in ongoing training in the area of deafblindness.

Reports to: Appropriate administrative staff

Supervises: None

Responsibilities: The intervener assists a student with deafblindness to actively participate in activities and provides a supportive and effective environment in which the student can learn. The intervener provides this service within the guidelines of the school, as set forth in its policies and procedures. The intervener works under the direction and supervision of the classroom teacher, and participates as a full educational team member in developing and implementing the student's IEP.

Specific Duties Include: 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:

  • Has the primary responsibility 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
  • Become 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 or her activities
  • Participates in IEP meetings and student staffings
  • 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
  • Works to attain proficiency in all items listed on the "Primary Competencies for Interveners" self-assessment
  • Serves as a resource to other staff 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 emotional maturity, stability, ability to perform under stress, and frustration tolerance
  • 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.