California Deafblind Services

Who's Who: Program Specialist

Program Specialist Tom Neary defines SELPAs and discusses his role in educating students who are deaf-blind.

View parts 1 and 2 below on this webpage, or click on the lower right-hand corner to watch on YouTube.

Part 1 of 2 (Video length:  9:52 )

Note:  Near the end of the video (about 9:22), Mr. Neary uses the term "F.A.P.E."  It stands for Free and Appropriate Public Education.


  • What is a program specialist and what is a SELPA?
  • What are your roles and responsibilties when working with students who are deaf-blind?
  • What knowledge and skills do you bring to students' educational teams?
  • Is there uniformity in the role of the program specialist across educational settings?

Part 2 of 2 (Video length: 9:57)


  • When might family members come in contact with you and regarding what kinds of issues?
  • What are some ways that educators and therapists can take advantage of your knowledge and skills?
  • Do your services vary depending upon the particular age of the student, and if so, how?