The Texas Education Agency (TEA), Division of Special Education, is required to report annually on individuals, 0-21 years of age, who are deafblind in Texas. This report requires a different type of information than the Child Count data mandated under IDEA. Through the Deafblind Child Count, the Texas Education Agency must annually report:
- the number of children who meet the criteria for being reported on the Deafblind Child Count served by age, severity, sex, and nature of deafblindness; and
- the types of services provided and the setting in which the services are provided.
The Deafblind Child Count provides information that is used for regional and statewide planning to develop funding and appropriate services for infants, children, and youth who are deafblind. This child count report is more inclusive and extensive than the Child Count report done at the end of October required under the IDEA. It is important to point out that the federal definition of deafblindness is a functional definition that goes beyond the medical and clinical determination of the severity of two major sensory deficits and focuses on evidence of the need for modification of special education practice.
The data needed should reflect the number of students with a visual impairment who were in the school district as of January 2, 2023, or the first day the district resumed following the winter holiday. Deadline to complete registration is January 31, 2023. The video posted below provides information on how to complete the count.
NOTE: Every student who is considered deafblind (or has IDEA eligibility for both VI and D/HH) on the VI Registration must be included on the Deafblind Child Count. Also, every student who is included on the Deafblind Child Count must be included on the Registration of Students in Texas with Visual Impairments.
Letter from OSERS
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services at the Department of Education has provided the following guidance document which you may download in a PDF File.
Questions About Eligibility:
For information regarding eligibility, and other frequently asked questions regarding this count, please refer to our informative FAQ video posted below. You may also reference the document “Let’s Talk DeafBlind Eligibility.” These FAQ’s and their answers are here to help you in determining if a student should be placed on the DeafBlind Child Count.
DBCC users no longer need to add or drop students or do any data entry for basic student information, but they do need to continue to review their list of students for completeness and should review basic student information for correctness. If any issues are discovered they should be addressed by the person who does VIR SPED entry for the district.
DBCC entry cannot be closed for a district until VIR SPED entry has been closed for that district.
VIR SPED users should be aware that DBCC users will not be able to do data entry for any students new to their district until they have been added to their district’s VIR SPED data.
- The Superintendent signatures will be collected electronically.
- At the end of the registration period, they will be notified by email that their page is open and given a password to access their district data.
- Once notified, they will have until February 15, 2023 to certify their district’s information. No paperwork will need to be submitted.
Consent for Release of Confidential Information
Each student who is registered as a student in Texas with a visual impairment, a student who is deafblind or a student with a visual impairment under Section 504 must have consent for sharing that information with other agencies. The consent form allows us to share their information for funding and resources available from the American Printing House for the Blind, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), Blind Children’s Program; HHSC Early Intervention program; Texas Workforce Commission; regional Education Service Centers; and other agencies. It is important that the Consent for Release of Confidential Information form is signed annually and maintained in the student folder. (English, Spanish, and Vietnamese)