Deafblind & Intervenor Studies Program (C158)


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Leadership Claims

This certificate program is unique in Canada.

Program Overview

The Deafblind & Intervenor Studies program is a one-year certificate that will prepare you to work with individuals who have a combined vision and hearing loss. Significant components of this program are delivered online. This program is open to both Deaf and non-Deaf students. The 2021/22 intake for this program starts in May 2022. To begin your studies in May 2023, apply to the 2022/23 academic year.

Full Description

Students practicing sign language

Preparing students to be the eyes and ears for people who are Deafblind

Do you have a passion for helping others? Want to work in a dynamic and evolving sector? Are you creative and a good communicator? If you want to make a difference, consider becoming an intervenor and work with people who are Deafblind. The 2021/22 intake for this program starts in May 2022. To begin your studies in May 2023, apply to the 2022/23 academic year.

This one-year Ontario college certificate will prepare you to work with individuals who have a combined vision and hearing loss. You will learn various communication methods to support individuals with deafblindness in accessing information and interacting more fully with their environment.

Most courses are delivered online with some in-person content (semester 1 is delivered fully online; the first seven week of semester 2 are taught in-person and the second seven weeks are taught online).

What you will learn:

  • How to work with Deafblind children and adults – many of whom are often medically fragile.
  • American Sign Language (ASL) – a visual language that is adapted to accommodate for the vision loss of those with this dual sensory loss.
  • Professionalism, values and ethics, health and aging.
  • How to interact with members of the Deafblind community both virtually and in-person. For those attending from outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), interactive sessions will be arranged in your community.
  • You will get hands-on experience through field practice. This may be completed across Canada in your community through George Brown College partnerships.

Essential skills of an intervenor: 

Strong communicator – You will be the eyes and ears for the person who has deafblindness. Clear and effective communication will be key as you will be responsible for providing them with access to visual, auditory and environmental information. 

Creative – In some circumstances, relaying this type of situational information and making it accessible will require creativity. 

Flexible – Being flexible is a key attribute as each day "on the job" will be different from the next. 

Trustworthy – You will play an important role in the lives of your clients, so being able to build trust easily is an important asset. 

Is this program right for you?

Your Field Education Options

The Deafblind & Intervenor Studies Certificate includes a field placement component that provides the students with practical experience working directly with individuals who are deafblind. There are two separate placements, one in the area of congenital deafblindness and one in the area of acquired deafblindness. The placements are scheduled two days per week in the second half of semester 2, for a total of 84 hours. Students participate in both observation and hands-on practice, applying the theory and technical skills learned to date. Placements are available with children, adults and/or seniors and within a variety of educational and community settings.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate demonstrates the ability to:

  1. Integrate theory, principles, strategies and community resources into competent intervenor practice.
  2. Perform the role of the intervenor in a safe, ethical manner that is consistent with professional practice and public policy.
  3. Utilize a variety of alternative communication methods to effectively facilitate interactions between individuals who are Deafblind and others.
  4. Examine the social-emotional impact of deafblindness on the lives of individuals, their families and their communities to appropriately adapt intervention strategies and respect cultural identification.
  5. Identify current technologies and assistive devices to meet the unique needs of individuals with deafblindness.
  6. Apply the appropriate strategies to develop or elaborate on concepts to promote understanding by the individual with deafblindness.
  7. Examine the impact of physical health, mental health and aging on the individual with deafblindness to appropriately adapt and implement intervention strategies.


Required Courses


Course Name Code
INTV1020 Congenital Communication Strategies and Intervenor Principles I
INTV1021 Acquired Communication Strategies and Intervenor Principles I
INTV1022 American Sign Language 1
INTV1023 Introduction to Deafblindness
INTV1024 Value, Ethics and Professional Practice
INTV1025 Introduction to Sensory Systems and Human Development
COMM1007 College English 


Course Name Code
INTV1030 Congenital Communication Strategies and Intervenor Principles II
INTV1031 Acquired Communication Strategies and Intervenor Principles II
INTV1032 American Sign Language 2
INTV1033 Impact of Health and Aging on Deafblindness
INTV1034 Accessibility and Program Planning
INTV1035 Field Placement Seminar
INTV1036 Field Placement

Career & Postgraduate Study Opportunities

Your Career

Intervenors have the skills to facilitate communication with Deafblind people across all aspects of day-to-day life, such as health care, law, business, education and social services.

These specialized communication tools are an asset for anyone who interacts with members of the Deafblind community.

To broaden employment prospects, combine this certificate with:


Intervenors work with Deafblind individuals (children and adults) across Canada. Graduates can find employment with:

  • organizations serving Deafblind individuals
  • educational institutions and specialized school programs
  • contracts with individuals with deafblindness
  • community residential settings

Educational Pathways

The Deafblind and Intervenor Studies certificate provides a strong foundation for entering other programs at George Brown College, including:

Tuition and Fees

Domestic Tuition

$4,540.00 *

Additional Costs

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2021. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2022 and at later dates.

International Students

Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information. 

Financial Assistance

The OSAP eligibility for this program has yet to be reviewed by the Ministry.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College fee requirements.

How to Qualify and Apply

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U) with a minimum grade of 60% or higher.

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature students may take the Admissions Assessment for English, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English.

Please note that George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit Transfer Guide for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information regarding country specific admission requirements.  

Special Requirements

Clinical Pre-placement Health Form Requirements and Program Policy

Upon confirmation of acceptance into this program, students must meet and complete all the mandatory requisite health form requirements for this program. This will take up to 10 to 12 weeks to complete.

Students will need to process and provide proof of their medical records such as (MMR, Varicella, Hep B blood test reports/titers, Tdap shot valid every 10 years and two-step TB skin test), a clear police vulnerable sector check renewed every year, standard first aid certificate renewed every three years and CPR level C renewed every year. This requirements must be submitted by the given deadline to ParaMed. Students who do not comply with the program’s health policy and requirements will not be eligible to attend and are excluded from the field practicum, which may jeopardize their academic standing and ability to graduate from this program.

All costs, service fees and fines associated with the overall health requirements are the responsibility of the student.

To download the mandatory requisite health form and for more details, go to the Pre-placement website.

Police Vulnerable Sector Check requirements and program policy (renew every year)

In compliance with the requirements of our placement partners, all students in this program are required to have a police vulnerable sector check completed, and this check must be renewed annually before entering into field or clinical placement. The police vulnerable sector check process typically takes two to three months, but under some circumstances can take four to eight months. This is required to protect the clientele of our placement partner agencies, who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law.

Students are responsible for ensuring that the police vulnerable sector check covers appropriateness for “individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s).”

Students are required to keep the original copy of their police vulnerable sector check.

Students who are unable to provide a “clear” police vulnerable sector check may not be able to start their field or clinical placement and therefore may be unable to complete the program. Students who are not eligible to attend their practice placement due to a “not clear” status will jeopardize their progress in the program. Our agency partners have the final decision for students being allowed to practice in their agency.

Failure to meet the requirements for field placement will prevent students from completing the program and/or securing employment.

The fees for the police record check vary and must be paid by the student. For more information, please visit the Pre-placement website.

Students are required to successfully complete a Ministry-approved crisis intervention training certificate in their fifth semester.

How to Apply

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges.

International Students

Visit the How to Apply page for more information on how and when to apply. 

International students should apply through the George Brown College Online Application System.

Contact Us

School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2185


Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cheryl Ramey, Program Co-ordinator, Deafblind & Intervenor Studies, email​

International Students

Contact one of our international recruitment representatives specializing by country of origin by either booking a virtual meeting or submitting an inquiry. For more information visit the International Contact Us page

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