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Contents of the Fall 2016 Issue, Volume 161, No. 4 of the Annals

EDITORS, SPECIAL ISSUE
“Children and Youth with Deafblindness”
Catherine Nelson and Susan M. Bruce

e d i t o r i a l
 
403 Good Ole Summertime Musings
 
a r t i c l e s
 
406 Critical Issues in the Lives of Children and Youth Who Are Deafblind
Catherine Nelson and Susan M. Bruce

the coeditors of an American Annals of the Deaf special issue on deafblindness introduce readers to critical issues surrounding children and youth who are deafblind. These issues—early identification, communication, social- emotional needs, family and multicultural issues, universal design and assistive technology, transition planning, and personnel preparation—are explored further in the articles that follow. By way of introduction, the present article provides definitions of deafblindness and a discussion of the heterogeneous nature of the population. The history of the field of deafblindness is then explored in terms of three distinct population shifts, from (a) individuals of the 18th and 19th centuries who became deafblind due to illness, to (b) the influx of individuals with congenital rubella syndrome in the 1960s who had disabilities besides deafblindness, and (c) the current population of children and youth with deafblindness, which includes individuals with other complex disabilities.

 
412 Early Identification of Infants and Toddlers With Deafblindness
Tanni L. Anthony

data from the 2014 National Center on Deaf- Blindness Count show that fewer than 100 infants and toddlers are currently identified with deafblindness across the United States and that identification rates for this population vary greatly from state to state. The author presents a key rationale for timely and accurate identification of early- onset deafblindness and of the challenges involved in current early identification practices. Health and educational providers play a vital role in efforts to understand the impact of deafblindness on early development, high- risk conditions, and diagnoses associated with pediatric deafblindness, as well as the warning signs of early- onset hearing and vision loss. Subsequent to diagnosis, medical treatments may be available to restore or augment sensory functioning. Therefore, early detection and identification of deafblindness should serve as a catalyst for prompt referral to appropriate early intervention services for both child and family.

 
424 The State of Research on Communication and Literacy in Deafblindness
Susan M. Bruce, Catherine Nelson, Angel Perez, Brent Stutzman, and Brooke A. Barnhill

in a synthesis of the research, the authors present findings from communication and literacy studies conducted with children and youth with deafblindness, ages 0–22 years, and published in peer- reviewed journals, 1990–2015. Findings are organized within the structure of the four aspects of communication: form, function, content, context. The studies implemented child- guided and systematic instructional approaches. Studies on form addressed tangible representations, gestures, pictures, and technologies to increase expressive communication rates, and included research focusing on specific functions. Most of the research on context addressed the coaching of adult communication partners to improve responsiveness. Research on communication by children who are deafblind has focused almost exclusively on improving expressive communication. Therefore, there is a need for research on receptive communication and comprehension. In the area of literacy, studies are needed on emergent literacy and reading and writing interventions for children who are deafblind.

 
444 Social-Emotional Development in Children and Youth Who Are Deafblind
Timothy S. Hartshorne and Megan C. Schmittel

social-emotional development is important to personal adjustment and well- being. Little has been written about social- emotional development in children and youth who are deafblind. The authors discuss factors in typical social- emotional development—attachment, empathy, and friendships—and how they may be challenged in children who are deafblind. Also reviewed are factors that place children who are deafblind at risk for delays in social- emotional development. Finally, the possible benefits of inclusion to the social- emotional development of children who are deafblind are examined.

 
454 Recognizing the Needs of Families of Children and Youth Who Are Deafblind
Silvia M. Correa- Torres and Sandy K. Bowen

research on deafblindness and families is scant. The few available studies, in combination with research in the areas of visual impairment, hearing impairment, and significant support needs, help paint a picture of the services and other assistance required by families, including siblings of a child with deafblindness. In the present article, the authors synthetize the literature related to families of students who are deafblind and the supports needed by these families. The article also addresses the impact of the diagnosis on the family, supports needed by the family, including the contributions of siblings of the child who is deafblind, and considerations of cultural, linguistic, and economic diversity within the deafblind population. Online resources for professionals who work with students who are deafblind and their families are listed.

 
462 Technology Implementation and Curriculum Engagement for Children and Youth Who Are Deafblind
Elizabeth Hartmann and Patricia Weismer

the authors discuss the research of education professionals concerned with children and youth with deafblindness, presenting three theoretical frameworks and models useful for integrating technology into learning environments: (a) UDL (universal design for learning; Meyer, Rose, & Gordon, 2014), (b) SETT (student, environment, task, tools; Zabala, 2005), (c) SAMR (substitution, augmentation, modification, redefinition; Puentedura, 2014). Although the promise of technology in teaching children and youth with deafblindness is undisputed, a review of the extant research shows that little guidance is available on what technology tools may be efficacious and how these tools should be implemented. In the absence of research and in an age of rapid technological innovation, the authors suggest that all students with deafblindness will benefit if professionals use assistive and instructional technology frameworks to provide these children and youth access to and engagement in equitable learning experiences in inclusive settings.

 
474 An Overview of Transition Planning for Students Who Are Deafblind
Mary Zatta and Betsy McGinnity

children who are deafblind are one of the lowest- incidence yet most diverse groups receiving services mandated by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Despite this population’s diversity, the development of communication skills is critical for all children who are deafblind, and is the foundation on which good transition planning can be built. The authors describe key research findings and other professional literature on transition planning and services guided by the quality of life principle. The role of the individualized education program and case law in transition planning is discussed. Through a person-centered approach to transition planning, a coordinated set of activities designed to support the young adult in moving from school to postschool settings and activities is identified. The authors conclude that effective transition efforts will involve extensive collaboration among school and agency professionals, families, and the young adult who is deafblind.

 
486 Toward a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development in Deafblind Education
Amy T. Parker and Catherine Nelson

students who are deafblind are a unique population with unique needs for learning, communication, and environmental access. Two roles have been identified as important to their education: teacher of the deafblind and intervener. However, these roles are not officially recognized in most states. Because of this lack of recognition and the low incidence of deafblindness, it is difficult to sustain systems that prepare highly qualified personnel with advanced training and knowledge in educational strategies for children and youth who are deafblind. The authors propose a comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD) for deafblind education. The components of this system are standards, preservice training, in- service/professional development, leadership development, research, and, finally, planning coordination, and evaluation. The authors describe elements of the model that are being implemented and provide suggestions to support the future development of a comprehensive system.