Interveners, Interpreters, & SSPs
The Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) Intervener Learning Modules are a national resource designed to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills related to intervention for students who are deaf-blind and are being served in educational settings (ages 3 through 21). The development of the modules is in response to Recommendation 3 of the Recommendations to Improve Intervener Services (NCDB, 2012). Recommendation 3 is one of a set of recommendations intended to establish a strong national foundation for intervener training and workplace supports.
The module content was created by a diverse group of experts in the field of deaf-blindness including state and national deaf-blind project staff, parents of children who are deaf-blind, higher education faculty, teachers, educational interpreters, and interveners. Each includes a variety of accessible videos, photographs, slide presentations, and learning activities. The modules have been guided by an advisory committee, and reviewed by a variety of experts in deaf-blindness and the process of intervention, experts in module design, and field-test participants.
***As with any educational resource, the modules themselves do not constitute a formal training program, nor does completion of the modules independently and in isolation from a training program result in one becoming an intervener.
Visit the Intervener.org website for more info!
An intervener is a position designated to provide direct support to a student who is deaf-blind, for all or part of the instructional day, as determined by the student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP). The decision to designate an intervener is based on the level of support needed by a student to participate effectively in his/her instructional environment(s) as described by the IEP. The intervener works cooperatively with parents and a variety of direct service providers and consultants including: classroom teachers; teachers of children with hearing impairments, visual impairments, or severe disabilities; speech therapists; occupational and physical therapists; orientation and mobility instructors; and other professionals as well as paraprofessionals.
The intervener is trained in communication and support strategies unique to a deaf-blind student:
Tactile sign language, tracking, close and far vision, speech, braille, picture symbols,
tactile symbols, objects, gestures, signals, appropriate lighting, deaf-blind technology resources,
and other communication forms.
Since the deaf-blind student misses a lot of what is happening around them, both visually and auditorily, the intervener must provide all of this information, in addition to interpreting and conversing with them.
Having missed environmental information in a variety of settings, the deaf-blind person may not have the background knowledge of a typical peer, therefore, the intervener needs to supply this expansion of conceptual knowledge.