Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Program (C108)


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Leadership Claims

The Intervenor for Deafblind Persons program is unique in Canada.

Program Overview

PLEASE NOTE: The Intervenor for Deafblind Persons program has been suspended. We are currently redesigning this program to better serve the Deafblind community.

Students interested in learning skills to work with the Deaf and Deafblind community should consider applying to the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies (C114) program.

The Intervenor for Deafblind Persons program enables students to learn how to work with people who have a combined loss of vision and hearing. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to communicate, guide, use assistive devices and support consumers who often present with medical fragility. This program is unique in Canada.

Full Description

Intervenors make it possible for individuals with Deafblindness to access information and to interact within their environment.

The Intervenor for Deafblind Persons program provides students with the knowledge and basic skills required to work with children and adults who are Deafblind, including individuals who may be medically fragile.

To be successful in this field, you should be:

  • a strong communicator
  • flexible in nature
  • creative and open to new ideas
  • motivated to work with members of the Deafblind community
  • enthusiastic about the important work that you will be doing
  • trustworthy as your job will embed you into the daily lives of your clients

The program will teach you the skills you'll need to work with the Deafblind by combining:

  • relevant theory
  • a significant amount of practical experience
  • specialized techniques of intervention
  • a variety of alternative communication methods

Information sessions are held twice monthly from October to May. For specific dates, times, location and to register, please visit the Intervenor Information Session Sign-Up Page.

It is recommended that applicants take an introductory American Sign Language course prior to starting this program.

We have identified key attributes of students who have become successful graduates and practicing intervenors. Regular attendance and participation are integral to program success. Find out if this program is right for you here.

This program was developed in partnership with a number of service providers and Deafblind consumer associations.

In preparation for the field placement, students will be required to work in multiple small and large groups, both in classes and community settings.

Your Field Education Options

By stepping outside of the classroom into a real-world environment, students gain an enriched learning experience. Students will be introduced to experiential learning through simulation activities and opportunities to meet with sector partners. Skills are reinforced and strengthened, confidence is gained in abilities and invaluable connections are made.

In this program, you'll experience:

  • three 28-day field placements – one in each of Semesters 2, 3 and 4
  • meeting with sector experts

Field placement is a mandatory and complex component of the program. Should accommodation issues arise, a Consultant from Accessible Learning Services can be contacted prior to the start of the program to assist the applicant in determining whether she/he can meet the requirements necessary for safe intervention with individuals with Deafblindness.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Integrate theory, principles and concepts into competent intervenor practice.
  2. Perform the role of the intervenor in a safe, ethical manner that is consistent with the philosophy of intervention.
  3. Adapt English fluently, effectively, and appropriately in order to intervene with individuals who are Deafblind.
  4. Select and use nonverbal and alternative communication methods adapted to the preferred communication mode of the individual with Deafblindness, by applying the philosophy of intervention.
  5. Analyze how Deafblindness has impacted the lives of individuals, their families/significant others and their communities and use that information to inform decision making and practice.
  6. Develop and sustain supportive professional relationships with individuals with Deafblindness, their families/significant others, other professionals and community members.
  7. Select, design, develop and/or adapt appropriate assistive devices and resources for the unique needs of individuals with Deafblindness.
  8. Identify potential community resources appropriate for the individual who is Deafblind.
  9. Assist in adapting community resources and services appropriate for the individual who is Deafblind.
  10. Identify current policies, relevant legislation, political and social systems and their impacts on the field of Deafblindness.
  11. Assess the conceptual understanding of individuals with Deafblindness by selecting and applying a variety of intervention strategies.
  12. Support concept development with individuals with Deafblindness by selecting and applying a variety of intervention strategies.
  13. Develop ongoing reflective professional development strategies and plans related to realistic career goals and to leadership in the field.


Required Courses


semester courses
Code Course Name
INTV1004 Acquired Deafblindness & Intervening I
INTV1005 Congenital Deafblindness & Intervening I
INTV1006 Sighted Guide
INTV1015 Introduction to the Field
SOC1008 Sociology (Relevant to Deafblindness)
COMM1126 English for Intervenors
GSCI1127 Anatomy and Physiology


semester courses
Code Course Name
INTV1008 Fieldwork Practice I
INTV1007 Fieldwork Seminar I
INTV1017 Acquired Deafblindness & Intervening II
INTV1010 Congenital Deafblindness & Intervening II
GSSC1151 Human Growth and Development
INTV1011 Assistive Devices
GNED General Education Elective


semester courses
Code Course Name
INTV2001 Fieldwork Seminar II
INTV2002 Fieldwork Practice II
INTV2003 Acquired Deafblindness & Intervening III
INTV2004 Congenital Deafblindness & Intervening III
INTV2006 Braille (uncontracted)
INTV2013 Intervention with Medically Fragile Persons
INTV2017 Values, Ethics and Professionalism


semester courses
Code Course Name
INTV2008 Fieldwork Practice III
INTV2009 Fieldwork Seminar III
INTV2010 Acquired Deafblindness & Intervening IV
INTV2011 Congenital Deafblindness & Intervening IV
INTV2015 Activity and Program Planning
GNED General Education Elective

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Career & Postgraduate Study Opportunities

Your Career

Graduates of this program use a variety of specialized communication including:

  • tactile ASL
  • two-hand manual communication
  • large print notes
  • oral intervening
  • braille
  • ASL

Intervenor for Deafblind Persons program graduates have found employment as intervenors with:

  • social service agencies
  • individuals with Deafblindness
  • community residential settings
  • specialized school programs

There is a demand for intervenors across Canada and throughout the world.

Tuition and Fees


$4,048.00 *

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 2018. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2019 and at later dates.

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

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 65%

** 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 for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

Special Requirements

Additional Mandatory Requirements

Police Vulnerable Sector Check (must be valid annually)

  • 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.
  • 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 at

How to Apply

Apply To

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Student Success

Student Name
Lacey McMaster

"When I started this program I felt energized because it’s challenging in the best kind of way. There is so much to learn and get out of this. Everything we learn and do applies to a real-world situation. You can see how every class, every assignment and every field trip has a practical application to what we are actually doing in our careers as Intervenors."

Student Name
Joan Mactavish

"I can still hear her laugh."

Betty Jean Reid remembers the tiny, cramped office where Margot McGrath-Harding used to work as Co-ordinator of the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons program: "She was always patient, she always had time for people. She had an ability to touch each person and make them feel that you were a good student and had potential, and you could do it."

In recognition of Margot’s tremendous contribution, her family, friends and colleagues established the Margot McGrath-Harding Memorial Endowment in 2009 to provide an annual scholarship to a full-time student in the Intervenor Program.

"An Intervenor’s biggest reward is watching other people reach their potential – watching them gain their place in the real world."

Contact Us

School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2185


Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

To contact the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Program Co-ordinator, Cheryl Ramey, call 416-415-5000, ext. 2357 or email​.

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

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