The Provincial Outreach Program for Students with Deafblindness provides support to BC school teams working with kindergarten to grade 12 students with deafblindness. Because deafblindness is an information-gathering disability, our focus is on communication, learning, social interactions, mobility, and access to information. Each student with deafblindness is unique in their visual and auditory differences.
All POPDB teachers hold BC Teaching Certificates and have received specific training in the education of individuals with deafblindness.
POPDB maintains a small reading library with publications in the field of deafblindness. If you are interested in any particular titles, contact your POPDB Teacher-Consultant and we are happy to lend them to you.
POPDB does not provide access technology (hearing, vision, and/or communication devices) to students with deafblindness, nor accessible materials. It is the responsibility of the educational authority to contact the necessary programs and personnel with those educational needs.
Consultation-based services include support from POPDB Teacher-Consultants through direct or remote collaboration to support best practices in educational programming for students with deafblindness in inclusive settings. POPDB Teacher-Consultants join the student's team with the intention of bringing our experiences and expertise in deafblindness and Intervention to help staff implement a rich and meaningful program. Consultation Support includes:
- Support to school teams including the class teacher, inclusion support teacher, educational assistant, teacher of the visually impaired, teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing, parent, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, and other related personnel.
- Collaboration in the design and implementation of educational programs to ensure the student's needs around deafblindness are addressed.
- Facilitating professional development opportunities specific to best practices in the education of students with deafblindness.
Note: While many of the POPDB Teacher-Consultants have qualifications in visual impairments/blindness or deaf and hard of hearing (or other disciplines), we are not able to stand in for those positions. It is the responsibility of the educational authority to find teachers with qualifications in those backgrounds to support students.
From courses in deafblindness to workshops, POPDB provides professional development opportunities in a variety of formats to meet the needs of school teams supporting students with deafblindness. Check out our section on Professional Development for more information.
POPDB welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with related Provincial Outreach Programs under the Inclusive Education Branch umbrella. Often students who receive support from POPDB may also receive support from programs such as SET-BC, PRCVI, Inclusion Outreach, and others. Please let your POPDB Teacher-Consultant know that you have made referrals to other programs so that we can be part of those plans. We are able to advise on the access needs around deafblindness.