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RI Services to Children and Youth with Dual Sensory Impairments (DSI Project)

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RI Services to Children and Youth with Dual Sensory Impairments, also known as the DSI Project, is a federally funded grant designed to provide technical assistance to educational teams and families who serve learners with deaf-blindness (birth – 22 years old) in Rhode Island. Our Project goals include:

Who is Eligible for DSI Project Services?

Dual Sensory Impairment (deafblindness) can be characterized as low vision to complete blindness along with a mild hearing loss to profound deafness. The combination of the two sensory losses makes it challenging to implement typical educational strategies and approaches into the student's IEP.

Eligibility is determined by a review of a child’s medical records, and through a conversation with a child’s family and/or educational team. It is essential that the referral form be complete and accurate. A consent form must accompany the referral. Without complete and accurate information, it is possible that an individual who is eligible for the project could be determined ineligible and, thus, would not benefit from the project's services. In addition, the project is required to send yearly reports that require complete information for each individual involved with the project. (This information is submitted without the individual's name.)

Referral to the DSI Project

The first step in getting connected with our project is to refer a child, birth to 22 years of age, to the RI DSI Project. Once a learner meets eligibility requirements, they become eligible for our services. If you know of a child who experiences both vision and hearing loss, we encourage you to contact our Project today.

Through the Rhode Island DSI Project, family members of children with dual sensory impairments, as well as the learner's educational team, can access a variety of services at NO COST. Services could include consultations, trainings, resource sharing and networking with other families. The Rhode Island DSI Project can connect you with other resources within the state and the nation. Our loan library, as a part of the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College has media that can be checked out for free on topics related to deaf-blindness and many other topics. Other special updates can also be shared with families and their school teams.

To be referred to the DSI Project, the following information is needed:

DSI Project Services

The DSI Project provides support tailored to the individual needs of a child with dual sensory impairments, their family, and/or the educational team as part of early intervention or school.

Family Support
Parents are often overwhelmed with the complexity of their child's life. Some parents benefit from identification of their child/s strengths, coordination of services and assistance during times of transition (such as entering a school program, changing classrooms, and moving into the adult world). This project supports each family throughout their child's education, and helps families make realistic decisions regarding their child's participation in current and future settings.

Child Support
Children with dual sensory impairments often require specialized communication systems, which focus on a child's strongest sensory systems. This federal project works with the child, and those who support the child, to identify and utilize communication systems, mobility systems, learning styles, material and curriculum modification, and alternative assessment techniques.

Professional Support
Project staff provides the educational community with ongoing education through personal classroom contact, in-services for teachers, and related staff, and university courses within the Department of Special Education at Rhode Island College. The focus of professional support includes:
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