Vision Statement:

The Deaf-Blind Resource Team (DBRT) at BLaST IU 17 supports deaf-blind students, their families, and their educational teams to increase the student’s ability to become confident and active members of the community.


Roles of the DBRT Specialists:


BLaST IU 17 can offer Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing (TODHH) and Educational Audiology services for any student who has a hearing loss. With the proof of a recent (within 1 year) audiogram, any type and severity of hearing loss can be evaluated and receive service from the TODHH. Services can be provided for early intervention and school-age students.

Speech and Language

Speech and Language services are offered for children who qualify for ages 3-21 at the Intermediate Unit. This service provides specialized instruction and support to meet the specific language, communication, academic, and social needs of students who are speech and language impaired.


Students with low vision/blindness are evaluated to determine if they qualify for services from a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI). The TVI interprets the medical vision report, performs functional vision/learning media assessments, and recommends services, accommodations, and AT for the student. Also, the TVI ensures that the student has access to the Expanded Core Curriculum.

Orientation and Mobility

Students who have a visual impairment and receive services from a TVI are eligible to be evaluated by a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS). The COMS is responsible for orienting students to their environment and teaching the student to travel in a safe and effective manner. This is done by heightening their awareness of the other senses to the environment around them.


Services Provided by the Deaf-Blind Resource Team:


Families are an integral part of the student’s educational team and the DBRT is here to support them. We offer the following services:

  • Offer referrals to community agencies/services.
  • Help find support groups to meet their needs.
  • Act as liaison with IEP teams by offering technical assistance to support parents in accessing resources.

School Districts

School districts provide the opportunity for the student to learn and grow. We offer the following services:

  • Provide appropriate evaluations in the specialized areas.
  • Effective educational planning based on evaluations, classroom data, observations, and consultations with parents and teachers.
  • Provide student-centered instruction.
  • Meet the requirements of IDEA.
  • Provide specialized instruction and support to meet the student-specific communication, academic, auditory, vision, and O&M needs.

Community Members

The community plays a crucial role in enabling the DB student to become a productive and accepted member of society.

  • Educates and provides resources to understand the needs of students with deaf-blindness.
  • Informs others about existing support organizations within the community.