The Deafblind program prepares candidates to serve children and youth who have combined hearing and vision impairments. When combined with another special education license (Visual Impairments, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Severe Disabilities, Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education), the program leads to an endorsement in Deafblindness in Utah. Teachers with the endorsement may serve as itinerant deafblind consultants or as classroom teachers serving a variety of children including those who are deafblind. They may work in school districts or specialized schools for children with sensory disabilities. Children and youth who are deafblind comprise a very heterogeneous population, but most have disabilities in addition to deafblindness and this program is designed to prepare teachers to meet the unique and intensive needs of the varied population. In addition to specialization courses in Deafblindness, candidates take classes in Visual Impairments, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Severe Disabilities, and American Sign Language.
The Utah State Board of Education grants teaching licenses. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are recommended for licensure. The program requires completion of the teacher education core in special education and a sequence of specialization courses in the deafblind field of study. The teacher education core has been designed to provide the student with skills in essential areas of assessment, instructional design and management, behavior management, collaboration, curriculum, and legal issues in special education.
Specialization courses expand upon the skills and methods that have been introduced through the teacher education core. The courses introduce specific educational strategies that are effective for particular student populations. Each program has been structured to develop the required skills through hands-on, practical learning opportunities; therefore, the program provides multiple field-based experiences. Such experiences within the program area gives students the opportunity to observe, question, test, and modify different instructional techniques under the guidance of a trained cooperating teacher and department faculty.