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Southeast Regional DeafBlind Webinar Series (March – June 2021)

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Southeast Regional DeafBlind Webinar Series (March – June 2021)

Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:30 – 4:00 PM EST

Sponsored by the Southeast State DeafBlind Projects

(ASL Interpreting, Captioning, & Spanish Interpreting provided)


March 9, 2021 (Tuesday)

“ZOOMing Along:  Providing Services in a Virtual World”

This workshop will cover accessibility challenges of online conferences and meetings. We will compare and contrast features of different formats used for virtual trainings. Assistive Technology Specialists will demonstrate features to help customize reporting for virtual trainings.

Presenters: Signal Centers Assistive Technology Specialists,

Ezra Reynolds,  Steve Powell, and Lana Bazemore-Little, Director

Register Here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0wgB_ayvTHOvel2WxUo63Q


March 11, 2021 (Thursday)

Quick Tips and Tricks for Positive Behavior Supports

We will be discussing some basic principles of Positive Behavior support, including the 3 principle keys: appropriate expectations, engaging activities, and effective behavior management and how to implement these for students with dual sensory loss.

Presenters: Kate Borg, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_t4n2JvErQZmY-d-koYrdJA


March 16, 2021 (Tuesday)

Putting Together the Pieces: A Team Approach to Creating Experience Books

There are many great ideas to support the needs of students with dual sensory loss.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed or not know where to start.  Join the family/educational team from Horry County, SC and learn how they use a team approach to creating meaningful experience books for their student.  Participants will see the process in action; from brainstorming, choosing language and materials, maintaining a shared template, to creating a final product.

Teamwork makes….a successful and happy student!


Krista Olsen, Technical Assistance Specialist, SC DeafBlind Project

Katie Sacra (parent), Horry County Educational Team

Register Here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_f_uCySaGSTu41STGpm2hEw


March 18, 2021 (Thursday)

Brace for Impact: Overview of Pediatric Deaf-Blindness

Combined visual and hearing loss is a unique disability. Age of onset, type and degree of the sensory loss, and presence of additional disabilities all contribute to the impact across developmental domains.  The session will detail information about the range of developmental challenges for young children, ages birth through age five.

Presenter: Tanni Anthony, Ph.D Director, Access, Learning and Literacy

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_07ipdTYYQRK6DEU9V0s05Q


March 23, 2021 (Tuesday)

“Usher Syndrome: Overview and A Family Perspective”

Nancy O’Donnell, Director of Outreach for the Usher Syndrome Coalition, and Nilam Agrawal, USH Ambassador and mother of two children with Usher syndrome, will provide an overview/update of Usher syndrome; general implications for working with students with Usher syndrome; and a Mom’s insights as she guides her children through remote learning.

Presenter: Nancy O’Donnell and Nilam Agrawal

Register here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ilHEOxsZQLKwNHAt_0YiWw


March 25, 2021 (Thursday)

Understanding Each Child’s Sensory Abilities:  Strengths for Learning

Everything we learn comes from a sensory channel.  Sensory development begins in utero and continues throughout the early years of life.  Building a sensory profile of each child is essential for a solid understanding of the child’s abilities and needs, developing a common framework for presentation of sensory information, and identifying necessary supports.

Presenter: Tanni Anthony, Ph.D Director, Access, Learning and Literacy

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_soIcXUNNRwWf00DysLWA3g


March 30, 2021 (Tuesday)

Family Perspectives:  Dads are Important in Family-Centered Practices

Dads of children with deaf-blindness and other complex needs will share their stories, including their unique relationship with their child, their role in the family, and their experiences in engaging with educators and other service providers.  Dads will share recommendations with parents and providers to support fathers’ engagement as part of their child’s team.

Moderator:  Jana Villemez, Family Consultant AR DB Program and Carol Darrah, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project Coordinator

Register Here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0kg5PROeTFKKQWw1o2dO2g


April 1, 2021 (Thursday)

Sound Travels: Auditory and Amplification Issues in Orientation and Mobility for Individuals who are DeafBlind.

Unlike a deaf or hard of hearing child, the deafblind child’s vision loss interferes with the ability to visually identify sound sources and learn about them incidentally. As a result, students with deafblindness need extensive training from infancy to transition age to learn to detect, discriminate and identity environmental sounds.  Since access to environmental sounds is critical, even for infants and toddlers, it is important that personal amplification does not eliminate these sounds. This creates a dilemma for the fitting audiologist whose primary goal is typically to amplify speech and eliminate or reduce environmental sounds.  A collaboration between the COMS, Audiologist, and the Teacher of Deaf and the Hard of Hearing is essential to ensure the child with deafblindness has access to these important environmental sounds that aid in orientation and safe travel. This session will provide tools to help with this unique collaboration.

Presenters: Robbie Blaha and Chris Tabb

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_b5INGEaRSdKD8Tu5CodBrg


April 6, 2021 (Tuesday)

A Crash Course on Using the Pyramid Model to Enhance Social Emotional Skills in an Early Childhood Classroom

Session participants will learn about the Pyramid Model framework and explore evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development. Universal supports for all children, as well as targeted social emotional strategies to prevent challenging behavior, will be discussed. Resources & tools to support emotional literacy, controlling anger & impulse, problem solving, and partnering with families will be provided.


Kerri Kannengieser, Program Coordinator for SC Partnerships for Inclusion

Nichole Hudgens, Inclusion Specialist with the South Carolina Child Care Inclusion Collaborative

Register here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_foDRxdVqSvG2an3tNNA2YA


April 8, 2021 (Thursday)

Creating a communication-rich environment: Practices and structures that help build communication skills

Children with multisensory impairments face many challenges related to the development of communication skills, however all children attempt to communicate in some way. It is vitally important that families and professionals believe in a child’s capacity and desire to communicate with others and encourage and support effective skill development in this area. This presenter will share suggestions for building communication rich environments that provide these children with many opportunities for and reasons to communicate and connect with others and offer ideas for practices and supports will increase the child’s skills and confidence in communicating with others in their environment.

Presenter: Julie Maier, California DeafBlind Services Educational Specialist

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zUfQ_88gTyCjlEf-7Vk2Sg


April 13, 2021 (Tuesday)

Supporting the Use of Consistent Interventions: A Framework for Collaborating with Educational Teams Serving Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Children with combined vision and hearing loss learn best when their world is predictable and communication is fully supported. Home and classroom routines that occur each day, in the same way, and using the same materials help build anticipation, understanding, and communication/language development. Whether it’s waking in the morning, sitting down to have a meal, arrival at school, or engagement in classroom activities, these events instill a feeling of comfort for the child, and provide predictable sensory input (visual, auditory, tactile). However, consistent use of targeted intervention approaches is often challenging due to demands on caregiver time at home, staffing issues in classrooms, limited collaboration, and atypical patterns of children’s communication and learning styles. This presentation will provide a consultation framework for collaborating with families and educational teams to encourage and support consistent routines and interventions.

Presenter: Tracy Luiselli, Ed.D., Director, New England Consortium on Deafblindness

Register here:  https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zYTULuVPQXm-P-hdkSK6wA


April 15, 2021 (Thursday)

What Is an Intervener?

An intervener is someone who provides access for students who are deafblind. This presentation will provide an overview of the role, essential training, and basics about determining which students need interveners and how existing law supports the need for interveners in school settings.

Presenter: Beth Kennedy, Director DB Central & DBI Intervener Training Program

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_m8hN2T6TQVasQc7IATmBdA


April 20, 2021 (Tuesday)

A Brief Overview of the Informal Functional Hearing Evaluation (IFHE)

The auditory functioning of students who are DeafBlind and have multiple disabilities can often be difficult for IEP teams to determine. These students sometimes demonstrate the ability or inability to use their hearing in certain environments that seem inconsistent with the results of audiometric testing. To help teams provide data on how students use their hearing in a variety of settings and for a variety of activities, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) has developed the Informal Functional Hearing Evaluation (IFHE). This presentation provides a short description of the components of the IFHE and how this tool can be used for the collection of data that can be incorporated into IEP documentation.

Presenters: Adam Graves and Chris Montgomery

Register here:  https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_M7xbScMPQF6ky3fahGO78w


April 22, 2021 (Thursday)

Classic Literacy Lessons: Story Boxes, Experience Books, and Authentic Choice-making

This presentation will demonstrate how to develop and implement three classic literacy lessons: story boxes, experience books, and authentic choice-making.

Presenter:  Susan M. Bruce, Ph.D  Boston College

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_k8NNn3rxTnmboXl8GMHEvw


April 27, 2021 (Tuesday)

The National Family Association for Deaf-Blind….Welcome!

NFADB was founded over 25 years ago by a group of families who believed in the power of community. Since that time, NFADB has been working tirelessly to empower the voices of families of individuals who are deaf-blind and to advocate for their unique needs. NFADB believes that individuals who are deaf blind are valued members of their communities and should have the same opportunities and choices as others in the community.   To learn more about NFADB’s purpose and work, please visit www.nfadb.org


Patti McGowan, Parent, NFADB President

Nilam Agrawal, Parent, NFADB Board Member

Register here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OMPdQY8dTDiQojxXlDxn9w


April 29, 2021 (Thursday)

Family Perspectives:  Transition to Adulthood

Families who have adult children with deaf-blindness will share their experiences during their son/daughter’s transition to adulthood, including transition planning, work experiences, living options, and their current role in their adult son/daughter’s life.  Families will share recommendations of lessons learned with parents and providers.

Moderator: Jana Villemez, Family Consultant AR DB Program

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_S8Wc5qKRQnSzCCVIRSMUww


May the 4th  (Be With You) (Tuesday)

The Sensory Learning Kit: What do Lightsabers and Sensory Channels have in common?

How do we customize an assessment to learn the most about how our children use their sensory channels? Participants will learn the basics of The Sensory Learning Kit; including the purpose of the assessment, how to choose materials, and writing goals and routines.  Join us as we explore the Sensory Learning Kit in hyperdrive!

Presenter: Krista Olsen, Technical Assistance Specialist, SC DeafBlind Project

Register here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_w0DFVcSOQ5GAcKlcagvSDg


May 6, 2021 (Thursday)

Family Perspectives:  The Early Years

Families who have children with deaf-blindness and other complex needs will share their experiences during the early years, including birth, diagnoses, navigating medical care, and their participation in early intervention services.  Families will share recommendations with parents and providers and will explain how they found and used their voice to advocate for their child and family.


Jana Villemez, Family Consultant AR DB Program and Carol Darrah, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project Coordinator

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_I6oVjRwNTFCmYTQyl3o-Rw


May 11, 2021 (Tuesday)

Putting the Pieces together: Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-Ets Services

Preparing for transition is not something that needs to be delayed until the student is a teenager.  There are things that can be done at an earlier age to help build skills for transition.  Learn about ideas and come away with tools to help start this process earlier.

Presenters: Corinne Miller, KY Deafblind Specialist and Janell Turner, Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator

Register Here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ODQHg9YPTE292DptrleS_A


May 13, 2021 (Thursday)

Family 2 Family Communities Project (F2FC)

Because deaf-blindness is a rare and diverse disability, families may feel isolated or alone…like there is no one else who understands their experiences. F2FC brings families together via distance technology to connect, share information and resources, and offer support to one another in the journey of supporting their family member with deaf-blindness.


Carol Darrah, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project Coordinator

Jana Villemez, Family Consultant AR DB Program


Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VJJp3FYyRR-4r_tGjV-mSw


May 18, 2021 (Tuesday)

Creating Nonconventional Signal Dictionaries for Learners

Who Communicate Primarily without the Use of Symbols

Many educational teams struggle with how to begin communication programming for a learner who communicates in idiosyncratic, nonconventional ways—that is, primarily without the use of symbols. Through the development and implementation of a nonsymbolic expressive signal dictionary and an augmented input receptive dictionary for an individual learner, a family and educational team can build a solid foundation for future communication programming. Family and team members will learn how to consistently respond to identified elements of a learner’s communication attempts (i.e., signals and gestures), and provide information to the learner in a consistent manner through gestures and spoken words / manual signs. By implementing these strategies, the team is much more likely to facilitate successful communicative interactions and collectively move the learner’s skills in the direction of symbolic communication.

Presenter: Dr. Susan M. Bashinski, Interim Dean, Graduate School at Missouri Western State University

Register Here: https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QdM9mTgZQ1mM-V6fSR-x1g


May 20, 2021 (Thursday)

Encouraging Learning through Play with the Young Child with Deaf-Blindness

All young children thrive when their learning environments invite and reinforce self-discovery. The session will highlight stages of play and strategies specific to very young children with deaf-blindness to support self-initiated learning through each stage.

Presenter: Tanni Anthony, Ph.D Director, Access, Learning and Literacy

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YVRtUr88RU6FBdrLzrjSWg


June 3, 2021 (Thursday)

The Feeling Through Experience

Doug Roland will share highlights of his journey and his Academy Award nominated short-film; Feeling Through.

Presenter: Doug Roland

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zpcOk1lqTCu_cbr1kPDu_A


June 8, 2021 (Tuesday)

“Tips and Techniques for Communication with DeafBlind Individuals.” PART 1

Objectives: 1. Participants will learn how to incorporate various communication strategies that include content and visual information. 2. Participants will learn some modifications of signs to make it more noticeable and clear.  3. Participants will learn how to include environmental/visual/auditory feedback along with content.



Ashley Benton, Deaf/Deaf-Blind Services Coordinator

Jeff Trader, Sign Language Interpreter

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7Uf4cF14RxWzVzFGJH-0vA


June 10, 2021 (Thursday)

“Tips and Techniques for Communication with DeafBlind Individuals.” PART 2

Objectives: 1. Participants will learn how to incorporate various communication strategies that include content and visual information. 2. Participants will learn some modifications of signs to make it more noticeable and clear.  3. Participants will learn how to include environmental/visual/auditory feedback along with content.


Jeffrey Trader, CI, CT, Sign Language Interpreter

Ashley Benton, MSW, Deaf/Deaf-Blind Services Coordinator

Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DrycG-ikSCqt-JfJyQnWZw