Blumberg Center for
Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education

indiana deafblind services project

training module:

 Indiana Deafblind Services Project

Module Description - Instructional Outcomes - Instructional Events
Instructional Evaluation - Discussion List


This module is designed to provide service providers and families with the knowledge and skills needed to use the Collaboration Achieves Travel Success or CATS web-based model. The CATS model is a website for service providers and families to use in developing and promoting travel opportunities for persons who are deafblind and may have additional disabilities. CATS is a ten-phase, decision-making model that is designed for teams to use in helping individuals who are deafblind learn to move from place to place more successfully. This might include learning all or part of a specific travel route, as well as adapting ways for a person to maneuver within an activity. Through using the CATS process, a team can develop and implement a travel plan resulting in greater participation for the person who is deafblind at home, in school, or out in their community.

Based on the perceptions of a number of teams from Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, and Kentucky, as well as teams from other states who used the CATS model with their students, such as Florida, Missouri and Nebraska, there are many benefits of using the CATS Model to determine travel opportunities and familiarization skills for learners with deafblindness. Teams identified the collaborative atmosphere of the meetings, the strong emphasis on parent involvement, and the action planning that followed as the primary benefits of using the model. Action planning helped each team member have a part of the process. The second benefit that most of the teams reported was the route planning tools. These tools helped team members think of routes that their students could use to become more independent, efficient, and safer travelers. The third most commonly reported benefit was the progress their students made by becoming more aware of their environments and having more opportunities to interact with other students and staff in their environments. Regardless if teams choose to use the whole model or use only the parts of the model that their teams felt they needed to make better decisions about their students' travel. All teams were unanimous in their perceptions that the CATS Model definitely helped their students' motivation when traveling in familiar environments with others.

IDOE Division of Professional Standards Instructional Proficiencies
and Competencies for Teachers of Learners who are Deafblind

bullet item Standard [TS.SS.3.12] 2. Value and encourage the use of mental maps at local, regional, national and world scales both to foster understanding of relative location, direction, size, and shape and to serve as a spatial foundation for all knowledge.
bullet item Standard [TS.HP.3.20] 6. Believes that the safety of learners is the first priority in any movement setting.
bullet item Standard [TS.EC.4 .13] 3. Understands how to highlight basic concepts, make connections, and guide the mastery of fundamental skills.
bullet item Standard [TEC.12.S.T.1] Identify the most direct route (roadways) between two cities or from home to a remote vacation spot.
bullet item Competency Objective 2 - Knowledge: The complex and unique effects of combined vision and hearing losses upon all learners who are deafblind (e.g., communication, challenges in accessing information, orientation and mobility).
bullet item Competency Objective 5 - Knowledge: The potential impact of the combined effects of hearing and vision losses upon the learner's opportunities for incidental learning (e.g., learning without being formally taught [learning through observing, overhearing, playing, interacting with others]).
bullet item Competency Objective 34 - Knowledge: The influence of vision and hearing in motor development.
bullet item Competency Objective 36 - Knowledge: Technology to enhance orientation and mobility skills (e.g., electronic travel aids).

Indiana State Academic Standards

bullet item [1] Demonstrates awareness of body planes, inclines, declines and lateral slopes.
bullet item [5-8] Refines movement skills through applying movement concepts and principles.
bullet item [2] Utilizes techniques that provide for efficient movement.


After completion of the CATS module, you will:
bullet item Increase your knowledge of a collaborative team and its use in travel planning and increasing an individual's participation in activities and environments.
bullet item Understand how to review current activities and environments in which a person currently participates or develop new activities and/or environments where travel routes or mobility patterns could be developed to allow more complete participation.
bullet item Be able to identify and evaluate all possible travel options for an individual in a particular environment or activity.
bullet item Understand and be able to use a task and discrepancy analysis to compare various travel options
bullet item Understand adaptations, modifications and natural supports, as well as the concept of partial participation.
bullet item Be able to determine the appropriate adaptations or modifications for the student to be able to use a given travel option or understand when partial participation will be a particular student's goal.
bullet item Understand how to develop and use a travel plan for a particular student.
bullet item Understand the importance of data collection to assess progress on a student's travel plan. Be able to use data collection forms and implement a data collection schedule to determine student progress.
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