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What is an Intervener?

An Intervener is a person who:

  • Works consistently one-to-one with an individual who is deafblind
  • Has training and specialized skills in deafblindness

An intervener provides a bridge to the world for the student who is deafblind. The intervener helps the student gather information, learn concepts and skills, develop communication and language, and establish relationships that lead to greater independence. The intervener is a support person who does with, not for the student. Specialized training is needed to become an effective intervener. Training should address a wide range of topics necessary to understanding the nature and impact of deafblindness, the role of the intervener, and appropriate educational strategies to work with students with combined vision and hearing loss (Alsop, Killoran, Robinson, Durkel, & Prouty, 2004; McGinnes, 1986; Robinson et al., 2000).

Role of the Intervener:

Facilitates access to the environmental information that is usually gained through vision and hearing, but which is unavailable or incomplete to the child who is deafblind.

Facilitates the development and/or use of receptive and expressive communication skills.

Develops and maintains a trusting, interactive relationship that can promote social and emotional well‐being for the child who is deafblind.