deaf & blind services

Deaf & blind program mission

The MCIU is committed to providing comprehensive supports and resources to students with deaf-blindness (i.e. combined vision and hearing losses), their families, and educational teams by incorporating innovative strategies which are individualized for each unique learner. This collaborative, orchestrated, and/or integrated approach will foster active engagement in order to maximize learner outcomes. 

who we are

The MCIU proudly offers a comprehensive team of specially trained professionals to serve as a Deaf-Blind Resource Team (DBRT).

The DBRT is made up of the following professionals:

  • MCIU Administrator
  • Educational Audiologist
  • Vision Assistive Tech Specialist
  • Speech and Language Pathologist
  • Teacher of the Visually Impaired
  • Trilingual School Psychologist (English/Spanish/ASL)
  • Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing
  • Assistive Tech Specialist
  • Orientation & Mobility Specialist
  • Family Engagement Liaison 

supports and services provided by the dbrt

  • Identification of Students with Deaf-Blindness
  • Technical Assistance with:
    • Understanding of sensory issues
    • Obtaining materials and resources
    • Development of a communication plan
    • Selection of technology tools
    • Technology troubleshooting if needed
  • Observations and Recommendations
  • Collaboration with multidisciplinary team, including local, state, and national agencies
  • Support in identifying IEP Goals and Specially Designed Instruction for best practice
Jill Christopher

Jill Christopher

Program Administrator

Jill Christopher is a Program Administrator for the Hearing and Vision Programs at MCIU. Her career began as a Teacher of the Deaf after receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bloomsburg University and a Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Boston University.  She spent 16 years as a teacher working with students of many ages (birth-21) using multiple communication modes (ASL/Bilingual-Bicultural to Listening and Spoken Language) and in various educational programs (Schools for the Deaf, Intermediate Unit classrooms, district mainstream). 

She transitioned into Administration in 2016 and received her Special Education Supervisory Certificate from Penn State University.  Jill co-chairs MCIU’s Deaf-Blind Resource Team (DBRT) which began in 2019 when MCIU was selected to participate in Pennsylvania’s Deaf-Blind Project.  She is grateful for the opportunity to lead MCIU’s Hearing and Vision Programs and honored to work with an exceptional team of professionals who love working with children and share her passion of promoting and ensuring all students have access and resources to succeed in their educational environments.