ISU gets federal grant for work with deaf or blind children

Two professors at Illinois State University have received a $1.23 million federal grant to help students who'll work with infants and toddlers who are blind or deaf, university officials announced.

The money will go toward a training program integrating special education and speech language pathology.

“We have a perilous shortage, not only in the state of Illinois, but the nation, of early intervention practitioners for children who are blind or deaf, ages birth to three,” said Maribeth Lartz, a professor of deaf education who trains teachers. “These early years are a critical time, not just for development of the child, but also for the families.”

Mindy Ely, an assistant professor of low vision/blindness education, is the other professor sharing the grand funds.

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Education.