Certified Deafblind Intervenor Specialists (CDBIS) Handbook, Section 6 - Code of Ethics


The preservation of the highest standards of integrity is vital to the successful discharge of the professional responsibilities of a Certified Deafblind Intervenor Specialist (CDBIS). This Code of Ethics has been established to safeguard the Deafblind individuals with whom the intervenor works. This Code of Ethics ensures that the training and education that individuals receive in the area of Deafblind intervenor services is of the highest quality to support the independence of the individual.

The Code of Ethics provides guidance for ethical practice but is not intended to serve as an exhaustive list of every possible ethical or unethical behavior. The CDBIS is responsible for developing and implementing a sound assessment and instructional program. When questions regarding ethical practices arise that require consultation, the CDBIS is responsible for discussing the issue with other appropriate parties to resolve the matter. To assure the public of a CDBIS’ awareness of this obligation, the specialist commits to the Code of Ethics for Certified Deafblind Intervenor Specialists.

  1. Professional Values and Integrity
    1. Respect the inherent rights of individuals who are Deafblind, ensuring that the needs of the individual take priority.
    2. Remain impartial and neutral in all situations.
    3. Will not influence or coerce the individual who is Deafblind in any way.
    4. Will not allow personal values to influence professional decisions.
    5. Demonstrate respect for the profession of intervenor services.
    6. Support the professional associations for intervenor services.
    7. Support the inclusion and self-determination of individuals who are Deafblind, including support for consumers to achieve their goals.
    8. Respect the dignity and right for inclusion by ensuring that conversations occurring in the presence of the individual who is Deafblind are made accessible to them in the moment.
    9. Promote the personal development of the individual who is Deafblind, promoting maximum independence through CDBIS Services.
    10. Will respect an individual's intervenor services time and will not use this time for personal gain. When providing intervenor services, the CDBIS must remain engaged and focused on the needs, desires, and goals, as determined by the individual who is Deafblind at all times.
    11. Empower individuals who are Deafblind by clearly relaying choices and ensuring the individual’s thoughts and ideas are accurately represented and respected.
    12. Encourage individuals who are Deafblind to advocate for themselves. In instances where the individual is unable to do so, the CDBIS will follow outlined procedures/guidelines to advocate on their behalf.
  2. Professional Competence
    1. Provide continuous visual and auditory information, as directed by the individual who is Deafblind.
    2. Ensure access to unbiased information; taking direction from the Deafblind individual regarding the type and level of information wanted.
    3. Engage in ongoing professional development to enhance current theory and practice.
    4. Relay the tone, meaning and spirit of the message in the preferred method of communication as directed by the individual who is Deafblind.
    5. Ensure the clothing attire selected matches the visual needs of the individual who is Deafblind, the specific setting, and type of professionalism required.
    6. Make every effort to avoid compromising the safety of the individual who is Deafblind through proper sighted guide techniques.
    7. Engage in regular self-reflection with respect to your practice ensuring professional growth and continued quality of service for individuals who are Deafblind, their families and all others who may come in contact with you as an intervenor.
    8. Adhere to and practice within the CDBIS Scope of Practice.
    9. Arrive to all assignments fully prepared.
    10. Accurately represent your own competence, education and experience and seek further training when necessary.
    11. Refrain from performing duties that are outside of the CDBIS Scope of Practice or beyond your expertise.
    12. Remain current on the use and function of various assistive devices as they relate to the consumers they support and on emerging research and best practices.
  3. Confidentiality
    1. Respect the right of the individual who is Deafblind to withhold information and maintain the individual’s confidentiality by not sharing information on the person’s behalf.
    2. Appropriately manage and share information within team settings pertaining to the delivery of high quality CDBIS services while maintaining the privacy, dignity and identity of the individual who is Deafblind.
    3. Understand the legal obligation and adhere to the duty to report real or suspected abuse/neglect of the individual who is Deafblind.
    4. Share only the information required in professional team settings or when required by law ensuring that this information is specific, accurate and relevant protecting all other non-relevant information about the individual.
    5. Maintain, in strict confidence, any information gathered during the provision of services. This includes information about the individual who is Deafblind along with any other individuals involved in the assignment including but not limited to family members, friends, partners, doctors, lawyers and social workers.
    6. Obtain consent, where possible, from consumers/families to share/withhold information.
    7. Maintain confidentiality about personal information, assessment results, medical history and any other records concerning individuals who are Deafblind and their families. This information may only be shared to ensure a consistent level of service or where required by law.
  4. Accountability and Transparency
    1. Be transparent in openly stating a real or potential Conflict of Interest at the moment it presents ensuring that all necessary parties are made aware and are given an opportunity to respond and mitigate appropriately and make some alternative arrangements if necessary.
    2. The intervenor will openly state (at the time of hiring or when appropriate) where they are not able to accept and assignment to avoid a scheduling conflict.
    3. Be accountable for ensuring that you are clearly defining and fulfilling the role as outlined in the CDBIS Scope of Practice and mitigating situations in which you are asked to provide functions outside of the CDBIS Scope of Practice.
    4. Be accountable for and ensure punctuality and adequate preparation for your assignments.
    5. Ensure that you know and practice within the guidelines, policies and procedures and regulations approved by the school district, agency or governmental ministry for educational and/or human services personnel.
    6. Be conscious of your personal values and how they influence your professional decisions.
    7. Be accountable for all of your decisions and actions.
    8. Maintain accurate notes, records and documentation where necessary to ensure adequate transparency and be accountable for the confidentiality of this information.
    9. Promote the health, safety and well-being of the individual who is Deafblind and be vigilant in identifying, discussing with others and reporting any situations in which the individual who is Deafblind is at risk for abuse, neglect, exploitation or harm.
    10. Be accountable for the provision of high quality CDBIS services as defined in the Scope of Practice, Body of Knowledge and Applied Competencies.
  5. Respect in Professional Relationships
    1. Respect the professional relationship with the individual who is Deafblind.
    2. Ensure that, as a member of a multidisciplinary team, you bring forward knowledge specific to Deafblindness, acting as a professional, dependable supportive member of the team and keeping the needs of the individual who is Deafblind at the forefront.
    3. Act within the scope of your role as a CDBIS as a member of the multidisciplinary team and clearly share these parameters with all team members.
    4. Share only the non-judgmental service-related information within the intervenor services and multidisciplinary teams and only where appropriate.
    5. Openly state a conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest at the moment it presents, as a member of the team.
    6. Avoid engaging in any boundary violations with the individual who is Deafblind, their families or colleagues you support including sexual, emotional, financial, psychosocial or social boundaries because of the complexities of dual relationships and the potential impact on the work environment.
    7. Respect colleagues and individual differences/diversity. Professional differences with colleagues will be set aside to ensure the best course of action is made available for individuals who are Deafblind.
    8. Pursue opportunities according to agreed upon methods and guidelines to communication with family members about progress and concerns regarding the individual who is Deafblind. When communicating with others the identity of the individual who is Deafblind will be protected.
    9. You will at all times engage in professional conduct when interacting with family members, members of the community and other professionals in all settings.
  6. Communication
    1. Communicate with the person who is Deafblind in a respectful manner.
    2. Using communication best practices accurately relay information to the person who is Deafblind.
    3. Communicate in the manner preferred by the individual who is Deafblind.
    4. Respect the right of the person who is Deafblind to communicate in multiple forms and work diligently to respond positively, appropriately and consistently to his/her communication.
    5. Provide a responsive environment and ensure that a total communication approached is utilized at all times.
    6. Recognize and support the development of communication by the individual who is Deafblind.
    7. Ensure that your tone and body language are appropriate to meet communication best practices standards.
    8. Maintain best practices standards with respect to various communication methods.