"National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities” (NLCSD)
Educators of students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH), blind/visually impaired (B/VI), and deaf-blind (DB) have historically shared the problems of insufficient numbers of specialized personnel and an insufficient knowledge base of “what works” to enhance the performance of their students. These problems are inherently tied to the fact that sensory disabilities represents a low incidence area of Special Education that has too few educational leaders to fill a variety of leadership personnel who direct and teach in low incidence personnel preparation programs; conduct and report critically needed “what works” research; administer national, state and local low incidence direct service programs; and influence public policy.
The proposed National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities represents a unique, multidisciplinary, collaborative effort designed to: 1) increase the number of doctoral leadership personnel in sensory disabilities by 30 within four years; 2) create and utilize the NLCSD Consortium of IHEs to strengthen doctoral leadership personnel's preparation in sensory disability research; 3) develop and implement a core curriculum “Research Based Conceptual Model” using an on-line wiki based research forum; and 4) establish an inclusive and collaborative “Community of Learners” (CoL) to “grow” the knowledge base of “what works” to enhance the academic performance of students with sensory disabilities and to improve the process, collaboration, and efficiency with which research informs practice in relation to teacher preparation and the performance of students of are D/HH, B/VI, and DB. The CoL, although geographically dispersed throughout the United States, will be linked via the common use of low cost, high impact, accessible Web based technologies and face-to-face networking opportunities with the common goal of enhancing teaching and learning through a shared model of research, instruction, and service.