Multiple Disabilities Landing Pad

Children with multiple disabilities can benefit from thoughtful, well-coordinated early intervention services and supports to develop communication, mobility, tactile skills, and the concepts that are the framework for further learning. This landing pad highlights resources including research, policies, and position statements (Why Do It?), print materials (Read All About It), videos and DVDs (See for Yourself), and web resources (Find It Online) that can support professionals and family members in growing each young child’s full potential. Featured resources are high-quality, readily available, and no-cost or low-cost. A special section (Virginia Guidance) features state-specific resources. Additional resources for supporting young children with multiple disabilities may be found in the resource landing pads on assistive technology and autism.

Why Do It?

Assessing Communication and Learning in Young Children Who Are Deafblind or Who Have Multiple Disabilities

This 2009 guide is intended for all professionals who are responsible for assessing and developing interventions for young children who are deafblind. The contents should also be helpful for families of these children who seek to become actively involved in educational planning. Some families may use the information to better understand their important role in the assessment process, while other families may want to share this guide with professionals who have been asked to evaluate their children. The strategies and materials described here are applicable to many children who have multiple disabilities as well as to children who are deafblind. 

Position Statement on Access to Communication Services and Supports: Concerns Regarding the Application of Restrictive “Eligibility” Policies

This position statement was developed by the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

See For Yourself

Early Emergent Literacy Video Clips

Webcasts and clips for supporting emergent literacy of young children with significant disabilities are featured on this site.

Find It Online

All Children Can Read

The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) has created this website to provide information and resources to state deaf-blind projects, teachers, family members and related service providers interested in beginning or enhancing literacy instruction for children who have combined vision and hearing loss and children with other complex learning challenges. Two sections (Early Emergent Literacy and Emergent Literacy) include articles, video clips, and other kinds of resources.

Center for Literacy and Disability Studies

The University of North Carolina’s Center for Literacy and Disability Studies website has a section devoted to early childhood that includes assessments, handouts, presentations, BoardMaker files, resource lists, and more.

Design to Learn

The Design to Learn team specializes in developing effective assessment and teaching strategies for children and adults with low-incidence disabilities. They have special expertise in addressing the educational needs of children who are deaf-blind and children with autism spectrum disorders. The Communication Matrix, an easy to use assessment instrument designed for family members and professionals to use with individuals of all ages who use any form of communication, is an example of the kind of resource to be found on this website.


On FamilyConnect you'll find videos, personal stories, events, news, and an online community that can offer tips and support from other parents of children who are blind or visually impaired. Several discussion boards focus exclusively on issues for family members of children with multiple disabilities.

National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness

Resources for families, technical assistance, and professional development are readily available at this website. Search the database under “infant/toddler” or “early intervention” to find books, videos, websites and other resources to support work with children and families.

Perkins Scout

This is a searchable database of carefully evaluated online resources related to blindness and visual impairment. Visit the sections labeled Early Childhood or Emerging Skills and Early Intervention for resources to support infants, toddlers, and young children.

Read About It

Implications for Early Intervention Services to Infants who are Deaf-Blind and Their Families.

Deborah Chen, Linda Alsop, and Lavada Minor share their perspectives in this brief but informative article.

Deaf-Blind Perspectives

This free publication has articles, essays, and announcements about topics related to people who are deaf-blind.

Motor Impairment Associated with Neurological Injury in Premature Infants

Sheena L. Carter’s article addresses the issue of neurologically based motor impairment in preterm infants. Children born prematurely are more likely than full-term children to develop motor problems during infancy. About 10% of the smallest (<1000 grams) preterm infants will develop cerebral palsy. Because having any neurological injury increases the likelihood that other areas of the brain have also been affected, children who have early motor impairments that resolve may also have continuing difficulties related to weak motor abilities relative to peers, learning disabilities, and sensory issues.

Virginia Guidance

The Arc of Virginia

The Arc of Virginia promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. The Arc is available as a resource to families regarding advocacy, information, and linking to community resources.

Disability Resources – Virginia

This site provides a list of state and national resources by disability category.

Partnership for People with Disabilities, Virginia Commonwealth University

The Partnership for People with Disabilities is Virginia’s only university center for excellence in developmental disabilities (UCEDD). The mission of the Partnership is to partner with people with disabilities and others to build communities where all people can live, learn, work, and play together. Activities of the Partnership span the lifetime and include activities specific to early intervention and early childhood. Visit the website for more details.

T/TAC Online – Multiple Disabilities Resource Page

T/TAC Online is a resource for educators working with children with special needs. Information, resources, and training can be accessed on this site by disability topic.

Virginia Board for People with Disabilities

The Board serves as the state’s Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, addressing the needs of Virginians with developmental disabilities (DD). The Board advises the Governor, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, federal and state legislators, and other constituent groups on issues related to people with disabilities in Virginia. The Board's purpose is to engage in advocacy, capacity building, and systems change activities that contribute to a coordinated consumer and family centered, consumer and family directed, comprehensive system of services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that enable individuals with DD to exercise self-determination, be independent, be productive, and be integrated and included in all facets of community life. This is accomplished through outreach, training, technical assistance, supporting and educating communities, barrier elimination, system design/redesign, coalition development and citizen participation, informing policymakers, and demonstration of new approaches, services, and supports to community-based service delivery.

Virginia Department of Education Resources (VDOE)

Deaf-blindness: What constitutes eligibility for the disability category deaf-blindness, and why is identification critical?

This information sheet provides information about eligibility for Virginia special education services for children who experience deaf-blindness.

Multiple Disabilities

Visit this site for more information about how children with multiple disabilities are supported in Virginia schools.

VA Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (VDBVI)

Infants and children with visual disabilities, their families and teachers can receive technical assistance and support through the VDBVI that will help them during the child's developmental and educational process. Staff provide technical assistance for evaluation, program planning, curriculum modification, transition programs, information about blindness, and adaptive equipment.

Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH)

The VDDHH offers information, resources and services for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, persons with speech impairment, and those with deaf-blindness.

Virginia Department of Medical Assistance (VDMAS), Medicaid Waiver Services

Visit this page for an overview of waiver services and descriptions of the Medicaid Waivers.

Virginia’s Medicaid Waivers for Persons with Disabilities, their Parents, & Caregivers

This booklet provides more detailed information about Virginia’s Medicaid Waivers.

Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center

Virginia Commonwealth University
Partnership for People with Disabilities

Integrated Training Collaborative
Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia
Partnership for People with Disabilities

This professional development activity is supported by the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), with funding support from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Copyright © 2012, Updated 2013.