An Indiana State University resource center has received a five-year grant to continue providing services to caregivers of young Hoosiers who have both vision and hearing impairments.
The new grant, which is for about $210,000 per year, calls for additional focus on improving the transition outcomes for deaf-blind youth, Poff said. In Indiana, students over 14 years old are considered “transition-age” and their educational program should address their needs for being successful as they move from high school to postsecondary education or a career, Poff said. Nationally, fewer than 20 percent of adults who are deaf-blind are employed and only 5 percent live independently.
“Part of the new grant is to make sure we have identified what those needs are for them … and try to provide resources and training that will help improve their outcomes,” Poff said. “The outcomes for kids who are deaf and blind are pretty dismal in terms of what happens after they graduate.”
During the next five years, Poff hopes to increase services to family members of deaf-blind youth so they can more actively participate in educational and life planning for their children. She also wants to expand the use of technology (including the project’s website, Facebook and distance learning) so that more people can access resources online, including the resources that are located in the project’s resource library at Indiana State.
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