The Division of Elementary Secondary Education (DESE) Special Education Deafblind Project for Children and Youth with Sensory Impairments (CAYSI) is disseminating the annual federal census of children in Arkansas, birth to age 22, who have been identified as having deafblindness. The purpose of this Commissioner’s Memo is to assist CAYSI staff in the identification and reporting of children in the state who are deafblind. CAYSI is required to submit this report to the U.S. Department of Education each year.
Attachments include the 2020 Deafblind Federal Census Reporting Form that is to be used to report the information required by the U.S. Department of Education on each child with deafblindness and instructions for completing the census reporting form. Please consider all of the children served by the district to determine those individuals who might qualify. If a district is unsure about a child’s eligibility, CAYSI staff will review the child's information and make the final determination as to his or her eligibility. Eligible students do not have to be completely deaf and blind, nor do they have to have been identified as deafblind on the district’s December 1 child count. Often these children are counted on the December 1 report as having other primary disabilities such as an intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, or other health impairments. For consideration for CAYSI, the child must have some degree of both vision and hearing loss, or have cognitive impairments that limit the use of both senses. No response is required if the district does not have children with dual sensory impairment.
Districts will receive a separate letter from CAYSI for any children in the district who have already been identified and are listed on the deafblind registry. A 2020 Federal Census Form will be included with the letter for those children that will only require information to be reviewed and updated. For each child that the district believes may qualify as having combined hearing and vision loss, and is not currently on the deafblind registry, a 2020 Federal Census Form must be completed.
Cooperation by the district is appreciated in assisting CAYSI efforts to identify and maintain accurate information on children with deafblindness within the state of Arkansas.
Please return the 2020 Federal Census Form by February 12, 2021 to:
Children and Youth with Sensory Impairments (CAYSI), AR Deafblind Program
Division of Elementary Secondary Education, Special Education Unit
Attention: Jana Villemez
1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201
CAYSI is supported through a federally-funded grant administered by the DESE Special Education Unit. CAYSI provides technical assistance through on-site consultation, training, and other resources for teachers, agency personnel, and families who have children identified and listed on the deafblind registry.
For additional information or questions, contact Jana Villemez or Jennifer Walkup at 501-682-4222, by fax at 501-682-4248, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.