Intervener Services and Interveners in Educational Settings: DEFINITION

Interveners, through the provision of intervener services, provide access to information and communication and facilitate the development of social and emotional well-being for children who are deaf-blind. In educational environments, intervener services are provided by an individual, typically a paraeducator, who has received specialized training in deaf-blindness and the process of intervention. An intervener provides consistent one-to-one support to a student who is deaf-blind (ages 3 through 21 or as mandated by state regulations) throughout the instructional day.

Primary Roles

Working under the direction of a student’s classroom teacher or other individual responsible for ensuring implementation of a student’s IEP, an intervener’s primary roles are to:

  • Provide consistent access to instruction and environmental information usually gained by students through vision and hearing but unavailable or incomplete to an individual who is deaf-blind.

  • Facilitate concept development.

  • Provide access to and/or assist in the development and use of receptive and expressive communication skills.

  • Facilitate the development and maintenance of trusting, interactive relationships that promote social and emotional well-being.

  • Provide support to form relationships with others and increase social connections and participation in activities.

Although some educators worry that interveners may create dependency, the exact opposite is true. Interveners are trained to “do with, not for” their students and support them to function as independently as possible.

Path to Training

Awareness-level training

Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules are free, self-paced, and offer clock hours

Formal Training

Central Michigan University (CMU) partners with us to provide training and a credential for becoming a deafblind intervener


Request support for an IEP team, including an intervener who is participating in OHOA or CMU Training