Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Special Education

First Advisor

Dr. Yaoying Xu

Second Advisor

Dr. Colleen Thoma

Third Advisor

Dr. Colleen Thoma

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Beth Kennedy


The purpose of this mixed-methods research study was to identify the educational trends of children and young adults who are deafblind and identify strategies to improve the outcomes through interviews of nationally qualified interveners who have received training in deafblind specific strategies. Secondary data from the 2017-2021 National Center on Deafblindness and interview transcripts were used for data analysis and then integrated to identify the supports students who are deafblind should access. Trends in age of identification, primary eligibility category, school settings and access to state standardized assessments showed a plateau and displayed no significant improvement in educational outcomes. Nationally qualified interveners were interviewed and provided anecdotal data on the importance of training and how that supported the increase in communication and academic outcomes for their students who are deafblind. Recommendations include the importance of early identification and appropriate eligibility label for students who are deafblind and trained personnel in the role of the intervener.


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