Open Hands Open Access: Deaf-Blind Intervention Modules

Module 06: Understanding Communication Principles

PaTTAN - Online Course

Session Dates

Monday April 01, 2024 - PaTTAN - Online Course
Sunday June 30, 2024 - PaTTAN - Online Course

This event is by invitation only. You must have a registration key in order to register.

A key role of the intervener is to provide access to communication and assist in the development of a student´s communication skills. This course and the next one (Module 7) are designed to help you begin to gain the knowledge and skills you need to carry out this important role. Together, the two courses provide an introduction to emergent communicators who are deaf-blind. "Emergence" means a gradual beginning or coming forth. A rising to the surface. The focus of these modules is how to help communication emerge in students who are deaf-blind. They build on information provided in Module 4 - Building Trusted Relationships.


Participants will:

  • Define and demonstrate the terms “communication form,” “sensory mode,” “communication function,” “expressive and receptive communication.”
  • Examine the role of the intervener as a competent communication partner for students who are deaf-blind and be able to identify strategies that encourage communication.
  • Identify students with deaf-blindness as always expressing themselves in meaningful, concrete, and purposeful ways from their deaf-blind perspective and that this expression is the starting point for communication development.
  • Critique how the presence of an intervener alters the intent of a student’s behavior.
  • Use video analysis forms to gather information about a student’s communication, develop insight into a student’s communication, and assist other educational team members with communication assessment and IEP development.

Target Audience

Teams and Individuals working with and/or interested in professional development regarding students who are deaf-blind, such as parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and other service providers, including those who are not seeking to become interveners.

Topics Covered: Deaf-Blind

Event Info

Event Type:

On-line Courses

Credit Type:

Act 48 Clock Hour
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
Hours of Instructional Time
No credit


PaTTAN Educational Consultant

Event Contact:


Lorraine Byer

Content Contact:

Patti McGowan

Additional Info

This module is part of the Open Hands Open Access Intervener Learning Modules (OHOA) series; you must be an OHOA cohort participant to register. The PA Deaf-Blind Project runs a training of the OHOA modules with a new cohort beginning periodically.  Please contact Patti McGowan or Lorraine Byer for more information about the OHOA modules.