Main content

Alert message

TSBVI at sunset

TXFocus18SMContinuing Education Credits

The 2018 Texas Focus Conference has been approved for up to 11 hours of continuing education credit for both ACVREP and SBEC for the main conference days and if you attend the pre-conference you will be able to receive an additional 2.5 hours of continuing education credit (total of 13.5 for both events).  

In order to receive this credit or get any certificate of attendance you must complete an evaluation online within 60 days of the last date of the conference and include codes which will be provided during the conference.  If you do not complete the evaluation within the time limit, you will be unable to get a certificate.  

You will be notified by email where to go online to complete the evaluation.  The notice will come from "".  You may need to check your spam folder if you do not receive this notice by March 7th.  

We have been approved for TOTA continuing education credits.

If you have any problems completing the online evaluation, please contact Carrie Keith at  or 512-206-9314.

These recordings of the live webinars presented on Thursday, January 25th and Friday, January 26th are available for credit only to registered participants of the International Orientation and Mobility Online Symposium. These recordings will only be available for viewing for ACVREP credit thru January 28th.

In order to receive credit for viewing a recorded session you must email Kate Hurst at  by noon on Monday, January 29, 2018 with the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Title, date and time of the original broadcast for each recorded session you view

This information serves as your "sign in" to the session and allows us to record your attendance for our records. 

Once Kate receives your email you will be checked as having attended the session. This will generate an email link for you to be able to evaluate the session, enter the ending code provided by the presenter and get the assigned continuing education credit assigned for that session on your Symposium certificate.

If you have questions, please contact Kassandra Maloney at .


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Time: 8:45-9:00 AM EST (World Clock)

Facilitator: Kassandra Maloney, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

Welcome to the Inaugural International Orientation and Mobility Online Symposium. This session will allow you time to get in to the Adobe Connect room and give you a general idea about what to expect during the symposium. 

 

Time: 9:00-10:30AM EST (World Clock)

Title: Analyzing Street Crossings Part 1

Facilitator: Dona Sauerburger, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, United States

Presenters:

  • Nandini Menon, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Headstart Education Center, India
  • Josee Martin, Certified O&M Specialist and Independent Living skills Specialist for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in New Brunswick, Canada
  • Denise Guitar, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist with the New Brunswick  Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Kassandra Maloney, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, USA

Description: This is Part 1 of this presentation. Join panel of hosts as we analyze intersections from all over the world! After a short introduction to standard street-crossing strategies, we will discuss as a group how effective those strategies would be at each intersection with its unique challenges, and how students could reduce the risks of crossing there. 

This part of the two part series will focus on uncontrolled intersections from the following locations: 

  • India
  • Canada
  • United States

Time: 10:45-11:45PM EST (World Clock)

Title: Using VictorReader Trek as a Mobility Tool

Presenter: Martin Griffiths, Product Manager, Victor Reader Range, Humanware, London

Description: Participants will gain information about Humanware's newest technology, VictorReader Trek. There will be a live demonstration and Q&A. Stay tuned for the full description.

Time: 12:30-1:30PM EST (World Clock)

Title: Building Client Motivation & Collaborating to Achieve Goals

Sharisse Roberts, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Maine

Description: Some of the biggest challenges are creating client “buy in” and maximizing your time to be able to meet clients goals. We will explore types of motivators, how to collaborate and some case studies.

Time: 1:45-2:45 PM EST (World Clock)

Title: The Toddler App and Cane System: A Step Forward in VI Toddler O&M

Presenter: Dr. Grace Ambrose-Zaken, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Hunter College CUNY & Safe Toddles, Inc., New York

Description: Dr. Ambrose-Zaken will provide video and single-subject data on the usability trials of the wearable toddler cane aka the hands-free cane for toddlers with severe visual impairment and blindness. Results: Wearable cane usability: Fifteen 2-5 year olds tested toddler cane prototype iterations over 3 months (May 2017 to August 2017). These trials resulted in the Phase II prototype toddler cane. Aug-October, 11 subjects aged 2- 5 ½ wore toddler canes in classrooms and outside on many terrains. TAC App usability: Parent-facing, family centered app that provides developmentally appropriate activities and motivators for parents who use it, will be demonstrated, usability results will also be reported.

Study Results & Implications: 11 subjects (aged 2-51/2) with Visual Impairment tested wearable cane prototype: linoleum flooring, sidewalks, playground soft surfaces, sand, dirt, gravel, grass and other uneven surfaces. Results: Eight learners donned the toddler cane with ease. Three learners initially refused to wear the cane, one of whom did agree to wear it. The 9 learners who wore the toddler cane never requested to remove the cane due to frustration or any expressed dislike. Instead, multiple learners communicated a desire not to have the toddler cane taken off them, two of them requested that the toddler cane put on and one insisted they she be allowed to bring it home with her. Three subjects wore it during seated (floor and chair) activities. Parents and O&M specialists provided feedback on the TAC System. Parents requested the TAC App be designed to help their child practice O&M skills and reward them for these activities. Parents and professionals commented on the immediate benefits and positive changes observed in subjects wearing their cane and they also suggested how wearable cane prototype could be improved. Implications: The wearable cane is an important advancement in safe mobility for learners with severe visual impairment and blindness.

Time: 3:00-4:30PM EST (World Clock)

Title: Introduction to O&M VISSIT- Orientation & Mobility Visual Impairment Scale of Service Intensity of Texas: A New Tool to Determine Type and Amount of Service

Presenters: Rona Pogrund, Ph.D., Professor and Dr.Shannon Darst, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Texas Tech University, Texas

Description: The O&M Visual Impairment Scale of Service Intensity of Texas (O&M VISSIT) was developed to guide itinerant Orientation and Mobility Specialists in determining the type and amount of service to recommend for their students. This presentation will detail the purpose of the scale, demonstrate its use, and report the findings of an initial validation study on the tool.

7:00-8:30PM EST (World Clock)

Title: Analyzing Street Crossings, Part 2

Facilitator: Dona Sauerburger, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, United States

Presenters:

  • Dr. Gene Bourquin, Orientation and Mobility Specialist
  • Hiromi Yoshida, Orientation and Mobility Specialist
  • Vickie Anderson, Client Services (Metro) Team Leader, O&M Specialist, Guide Dogs Queensland

Description: This is Part 2 of this two part presentation. Join a panel of hosts as we analyze controlled street crossings from all over the world! After a short introduction to standard street-crossing strategies, we will discuss as a group how effective those strategies would be at each intersection with its unique challenges, and how students could reduce the risks of crossing there. 

This part of the two part series will focus on uncontrolled intersections from the following locations: 

  • Thailand
  • Australia
  • Japan

Friday, January 26, 2018

Time: 11AM-12PM EST (World Clock)

Title: Technology for Orientation and Mobility: What Is Affordable, What Works, and Where Can We Get It?

Presenter: Christopher Tabb, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired 

Details: Technology seems to happen faster than weather changes these days so it can be challenging to know what is available, what travelers will like best, how people can afford these technologies and electronic travel aids, and how to use them during instruction in Orientation and Mobility. This session will provide an overview of options available today and help to match devices with travelers’ needs. Resources for continuing learning about technology for independence in the community, both for you and your learners, will be shared.

Time: 12:15-1:15PM EST (World Clock)

Title: Guide Dogs and the Future of Mobility Instruction

Presenter: Alan Brooks, Qualified Orientation and Mobility Specialist and GDMI Guide Dog Specialist, United Kingdom

Details: (Full description coming soon).

Time: 1:30-2:30PM EST (World Clock)

Title: Organized Itinerant Teaching

Presenter: Alex Olson, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Allied Instructional Services, Florida

Description: This session will introduce strategies to remain organized on the road, in your different schools or environments and at home. We will discuss options for organizing, collecting data, reporting data and communicating with other professionals. 

Time: 2:45-3:45PM EST (World Clock)

Title: The Benefits of the Dakota Disk Cane Tip with Special Populations

Presenter: Paul Olson, Superintendent of the North Dakota School for the Blind, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, North Dakota

Description: A general overview of the development of the Dakota Disk and its characteristics will be provided. The original intent of more effective travel in rural environments will be discussed and feedback from cane users and mobility specialists will be shared. The presentation will quickly move into the benefits that have been witnessed for children who are in the beginning stages of walking and using a cane with this cane tip. The intent of the presenter is to offer another tool to the practitioner for visually impaired children who are in this transition stage. Push toys and alternative mobility devices are often the first tools that are appropriate, but there are few options for cane tips that are appropriate for this stage other than a rolling ball tip. It is my objective to demonstrate the benefits of a disc shaped cane tip that will cover more surface area for the young traveler as well as allow for more success in detecting obstacles. 

Having worked with dozens of children and adults over the years who have benefited from an alternative mobility device because of additional physical and cognitive challenges I have witnessed many individuals who continue to struggle. These devices are often awkward to use outside of their home setting because of size and difficulty in transporting them. The long white cane is the universal device that is the best choice for identification in community settings, but standard cane tips are often inadequate for special populations. The presenter will outline some of the benefits of the Dakota Disk for special populations. The goal is to provide enough information that the COMS can decide for themselves how they might utilize this cane accessory in their practice for the benefit of their students.

Time: 4:00-5:00PM EST (World Clock)

Title: Research Supported Framework for Developing Paraprofessional In-Service Trainings in O&M

Presenter: Dr. Nicholas Brian Casias, Ed. D, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, California

Description: Participants will learn about a research supported framework or template for developing paraprofessional in-service models and trainings in O&M.

Participants will be empowered with a facilitated experience and the tools necessary to develop a framework or template for paraprofessional in-service trainings within their own organizations.

2018 Texas Focus Conference:

On the Move

Conference Agenda

This year's conference includes an optional half-day preconference and two full days of training during the main conference. 

There are also a number of related events including a Family Social Hour on Friday evening, vendor displays, and a luncheon on Saturday.

Please review this information to determine which sessions you would like to attend prior to registering online through our secure online registration partner, ESC Works.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Ready, Set, Go! Orientation and Mobility Workshop for adult family members 

Heather Withrow, Parent, and Outreach Staff

James C. Durkel Conference Center, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired

1:00-4:30 PM

This event is for adult family members of children with visual impairments. This highly interactive event will help family members gain a better understanding of skills related to movement for an individual with a visual impairment or blindness.  This event will be held on the Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired campus. Participants will learn strategies for incorporating more movement into typical activities at home and in the community.  They will also learn how to support their child to "get a move on" and do it safely and successfully. A luncheon will be served.

12:00-12:15 PM

Welcome and Housekeeping

Luncheon begins

12:15-12:45 PM

What is O&M and Why should I Care?

12:45-1:00 PM

Transition to Gym

1:00-1:45 PM

Movement Round Robin

1:45-2:00 PM

Transition to the Conference Center

2:00-2:15 PM
Break
2:15-2:45 PM
Q&A
2:45-3:30 PM
Recreation and Leisure Walk-About

3:30-4:15 PM

Heather Withrow: Family on the Move: How Parents Can Integrate O&M at Home

4:15-4:30 PM

Wrap-up / Dismiss


Meeting the Unique Needs of Students in Phase III CVI for professionals

Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, Director of Pediatric VIEW Program, Pennsylvania

Crowne Plaza Austin North Central Hotel

1:00-4:30 PM

This event is for professionals, paraprofessionals, and university students.

Dr. Roman-Lantzy will be focusing on characteristics, scoring, and supports and interventions for Phase III CVI.  Some of the points she will be covering include:

  • Movement, orientation in space and the need for independent travel are often overlooked with students in Phase III.
  • Students in Phase III often face significant challenges in social experiences and will most likely need instruction in social skills.
  • Most CVI characteristics do not ever fully “resolve”, even in Phase III.
  • The most common CVI Range scoring errors occur in Phase III.

This session will be packed with information and Dr. Roman will have a special Q&A session to answer your questions during a separate session on March 2nd at 3:30pm.  Please write down any questions and bring them to the Q&A!


 

On Friday the Main Conference begins and runs through Saturday afternoon at the Crowne Plaza Austin North Central.  

Friday, March 2, 2018

Time

Event

7:30 AM -5:00 PM

Registration desk opens and sign-in occurs for Day 1

Participants must sign-in at the start of each day.

7:30 AM-5:00 PM

Vendors and exhibitors in the foyer area

Various vendors and exhibitors will be in the foyer area throughout the conference. Please take time to visit with them between sessions and on Saturday before the luncheon.

8:45-9:00 AM

Housekeeping and Welcome

9:00 AM-12:00 PM

NeuroMovement®: Transcending our vision of what is possible for the visually impaired child.

Anat Baniel, Founder of Anat Baniel Method© and author of Kids Beyond Limits, San Rafael, California and

Dr. Neil Sharp, Practioner and Research Coordinator at Anat Baniel Method©, San Rafael, California

Movement is the most basic and most concrete way of communicating with the brain. Anat Baniel, founder of Anat Baniel Method®NeuroMovement® (ABMNM) states that “movement is the language of the brain; movement is the fundamental source for the information the brain needs to grow and organize itself.” Movement creates and fosters neuroplasticity (brain change), i.e. learning. Focusing on the visually impaired child, Ms. Baniel will demonstrate how NeuroMovement uses an informational, dynamic systems approach at the neurological level. She will also introduce the Method’s concrete, ground breaking, practical applications - the “Nine Essentials”. These Essentials are fully supported by recent neuroplasticity research.

NeuroMovement wakes up the brain to resume a potent process of differentiation and integration, taking advantage of the remarkable potentials of the brain. This generates a trajectory of learning and recovery that often transcends the expected limits of accomplishments for the visually impaired child (and all other children and adults). Videos, lectures, short experiential NeuroMovement lessons, demonstrations and Q&A will be used to discuss and clarify how ABMNM opens up new possibilities for the visually impaired child, or adult. Attendees will learn core principles of applied neuroplasticity, the “Nine Essentials,” that they can use in their everyday life and practice.

We will explore:

  • Ways for the visually impaired child to experience safe and increasingly free and more complex movement. And lots of it.
  • How movement applied with the Nine Essentials can facilitate the creation of neural networks that normally rely on vision, for the visually impaired child.
  • Ideas and possible ways for a child to interact with objects and scenery around her/him and learn to “know” and understand what they are, without the advantage of sight.

 12:00-1:30 PM

Lunch on your own

 1:30-3:00 PM

     

First Breakout Session

Participants will select one session.

Introducing Two Publications from AFB Press - Cortical Visual Impairment: Advanced Principles and Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention

Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, Director of Pediatric VIEW Program, Pennsylvania

Dr. Roman’s new publication, Cortical Visual Impairment: Advanced Principles, includes information on her continued work and experience in providing assessment and intervention for students with CVI, particularly those functioning in Phase III.  The revised book is an update of her landmark 2007 publication, Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention, by AFB Press.

I Want to Play, Too!

Dr. Elina Mullen, Physical Education Teacher, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

Individuals with visual impairments, especially those who also have additional disabilities, are often left out of games and physical activities, but it doesn't have to be that way! In this presentation, Dr. Mullen will examine why this occurs so often and share with participants ways adapt games and physical activities for ALL individuals at their ability level.

Let Your Fingers Do The Walking! Using Assistive Technology To Optimize One’s Mind, Body, and Spirit

Larry L. Lewis, Jr., Founder of Flying Blind, LLC, Cleveland Heights, OH 

This session focuses on the use of assistive technology to create an environment where persons with disabilities may participate in activities that improve their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Participants will learn about strategies for using a variety of assistive technologies to identify, travel to, and participate in a variety of activities conducive for personal wellness. Also, participants will be presented with individual and group participation options as a balanced approach to community-based wellness.

Movement for Life: Panel discussion on the benefits of being active

Panelists include: Jordan Main - University of Texas, Dallas; Adhy Singh - McNeil High School, Round Rock; Libby Dougherty - University of Texas, Austin; Gillian Roberts  - McNeil High School, Round Rock; Daveion Perez - Texas School for the Blind and Visually Imaired

Facilitated by Scott Baltisberger, Education Consultant, TSBVI Outreach Programs, Austin, TX

It is well-known that being active can lead to developments in physical fitness. However, a commitment to moving one's body can also have positive outcomes in other areas as well. Come listen in on a panel of students and young adults as they discuss the ways in which their engagement in a variety of sports and recreation activities has enhanced their lives.

3:00-3:30 PM

Afternoon Break

Join us for a stretch break and light snacks in the foyer area.

3:30-5:00 PM

      

Second Breakout Session

Participants will select one session.

CVI Q&A with Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy

Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, Director of Pediatric VIEW Program, Pennsylvania

This session is for parents and teachers who attended previous conference sessions and had questions about the material covered.

Accessing Information Anywhere/Anytime! Shedding Light on Accessible Cloud Computing

Larry L. Lewis, Jr., Founder of Flying Blind, LLC, Cleveland Heights, OH 

This session illustrates the need for today’s student and aspiring professional to be able to access specific types of information from any location using a variety of technology tools. The presenter will identify these types of information, define Cloud computing, provide a blueprint for accessing cloud-based services, and offer guidance on how to access and interact with these types of information on a variety of mainstream technology devices. Participants should have a basic understanding of desktop and mobile screen readers.

Know Your Rights and Advocacy Strategies for Physical Education and Transition

Dr. Lauren Lieberman, Professor of Kinesthesiology, SUNY, Brockport, NY

In this presentation participants will learn exactly what the law says about physical education and transition planning. They will also learn advocacy strategies to get what their child needs and deserves related to placement and content in physical education, after school sports and transition services. Lastly, extensive resources will be shared such as books, web sites, videos and programs.

It Is All Connected: Early Learning and Movement

Patty Obrzut, Occupational Therapist and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Taylor, Michigan

 All humans learn through their own movement in the earliest stages of learning.  Patty Obrzut, expert in the use of the Active Learning approach developed by Dr. Lilli Nielsen from Denmark, will share with participants how cognition, self-identity, and emotional development are all tied to movement.

 5:00-7:00 PM 

Family Social hosted by TAPVI

If you are a family member of a child with visual impairments or DeafBlindness please join the members of TAPVI in this informal networking event.  You will have an opportunity to meet many of the speakers and connect with other family members from all across Texas!  Appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided as well as a cash bar that will see you through until you head out for dinner.

Professional App-y Hour

Before heading out for the evening, stop by for an appetizer and an app!  This networking social will give you plenty of opportunities to meet with other professionals and learn about new apps and other resources that can help you do your job, whether you are a TVI, COMS, paraprofessional or other educator.  Of course, there is always new information to share with rehabilitation professionals and university students as well. Appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided as well as a cash bar 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Time

Event

7:30 AM

Registration desk opens and sign-in occurs for Day 2

Participants must sign-in at the start of each day.

7:30 AM-12:30 PM

Vendors and exhibitors in the foyer area

Various vendors and exhibitors will be in the foyer area throughout the conference. Please take time to visit with them between sessions and on Saturday before the luncheon.

8:30-10:00 AM

     

Third Breakout Session 

Participants will select one session.

Anat Baniel Method© Q & A

Dr. Neil Sharp, Practitioner and Research Coordinator at Anat Baniel Method©, San Rafael, California

Want to delve a little deeper into the Anat Baniel Method? Neil Sharp will answer questions generated by parents, teachers, and other adults who work with children with special needs and help connect parents to Anat Baniel Method© practioners in their areas in Texas.

No Wheels – Not a Problem!  Ideas for Getting Your Teens Moving into the World of Nondriving

Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

What does it take to get around if you don't drive? It can be quite challenging. In this session participants will develop knowledge of the challenges facing nondrivers and become aware of skills teens who are nondrivers need to develop in 2018. They will also develop a list of activities to use with teenagers to prepare them to be nondrivers who are on the move!

Mental Health Education Program for School Personnel: Parents and Teachers As Allies

Representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Austin, TX

Just because a student has a visual impairment or blindness it does not mean he or she is immune to mental health challenges. Mental health education program for school personnel from NAMI covers issues frequently faced by school personnel, parents and other caregivers to give them a better understanding of early warning signs of mental health conditions and challenges that youth who experience symptoms of a mental health condition may face in school. During this presentation participants will learn more about what it is like to love and raise a child with a mental health condition and about accommodations to create a more supportive learning environment for students living with a mental health condition.

Developing Comprehending Hands

Patty Obrzut, Occupational Therapist and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Taylor, Michigan

Patty Obrzut is the leading expert in the United States on the Active Learning approach which is used exclusively at the Penrickton Center for Blind Children. She is also an Occupational Therapist with almost thirty years of experience working with young children who are visually impaired with other disabilities. In this session Patty will explore the importance of developing good hand or haptic skills and share strategies for fostering this development through Active Learning.

Advocating for your Students in Physical Education and Transition Services

Dr. Lauren Lieberman, Professor of Kinesthesiology, SUNY, Brockport, NY

In this presentation participants will learn what the law says about eligibility and placement for physical education. They will also learn about current evidence based practices to include their children into physical education and after school sports and transition services.  Proven strategies will be shared along with resources such as products from The American Printing House for the Blind, equipment, training videos, curricula, books, websites, and programs.

 10:00-10:15 AM

Coffee Break

 10:15-11:45 AM

     

Fourth Breakout Session

Participants will select one session.

What Do Sensorimotor Theories Have to Do with Visual Impairments?

Athena Oden, Physical Therapist and author of Ready Bodies, Learning Minds

Are your students constantly self-stimulating, fidgeting, or rocking? Is it difficult to encourage them to be upright or move into new environments? Is there something we are not considering?  Current theories of development place sensorimotor learning as a foundational piece to cognition.  Learn how sensorimotor systems can drive behaviors and cognition, and what activities will stimulate those systems for the child with visual impairments.

Using Yoga to Increase Motor Skills for Children with Visual and Multiple Impairments

Kassandra Maloney, Yoga Instructor and author of Yoga for Children with Visual and Multiple Impairments, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

Yoga is a fun, safe, and effective technique to increase motor skills for our students with visual and multiple impairments. In this session, you will learn how to facilitate your students’ motor planning, spatial awareness, and sensory integration patterns through yoga. We will discuss the details needed for you to start your own yoga sessions.

Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat (if you have one)! This session includes a simple yoga practice for you to share with your student. Some yoga mats will be available to borrow.

 

Parent’s Talk: How to Start the Mental Health Conversation with your Teen

Karen Ranus, Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Austin, TX

This session is just for family members of teens and pre-teens with visual impairments. The teenage years are challenging for all individuals, but when you are visually impaired they can be even more difficult.  It is not uncommon for mental health issues to arise during this critical period.  Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and get helpful ideas for having important conversations about mental health with their teens.

Going Places with APH 

Monica Turner, Field Services Representative, American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, KY

This presentation will highlight products available through APH quota funds that support fitness and recreational activities for individuals who have visual impairments, blindness, or DeafBlindness.  Physical movement is often neglected for children who are blind or visually impaired even though physical education is a part of the core curriculum and recreation and leisure is part of the expanded core curriculum.  Modifications and accommodations for some common fitness activities, such as running and tennis, will be discussed.  

Learning to Access through Touch: Promoting the haptic development of learners with vision impairments through progressive and mutual accommodation

Dr. Michael McLinden,  author of Learning Through Touch : Supporting Children with Visual Impairments and Additional Difficulties and Professor in Education, University of Birmingham, UK

In this session Dr. McLinden will examine differences in the human senses providing us with information about the world which is ‘close’ and the world which is ‘distant’ to us. This session provides an introduction to the role of haptic perception (sometimes referred to as ‘active’ touch) in the learning experiences of children with vision impairments with a particular focus on curriculum access. He will also discuss the ‘interrelatedness’ between the learner and his or her learning environment with the need for accommodations to support increasing independent haptic perception to be ‘progressive’ and ‘mutual’ over a given timeframe to reflect changing developmental needs. Finally, he will touch on intervention approaches that can be promoted to support such accommodation through structuring environments to promote access (i.e. access to learning through touch) as well as supporting the student to learn distinctive skills in order to afford independent learning (i.e. learning to access through touch).

11:45 AM-12:30 PM

Vendor, Exhibitor, and Poster Sessions

Please take this opportunity to spend some time visiting with our vendors and exhibitors and learn from short poster sessions prior to the start of the Texas Focus Luncheon.

12:30-1:00 PM

Luncheon

1:00-2:45 PM

Closing General Session

 

Moving Forward…… Empowering Learners with Visual Impairments to Shape their Own Future

Dr. Michael McLinden,  author of Learning Through Touch : Supporting Children with Visual Impairments and Additional Difficulties and Professor in Education, University of Birmingham, UK

In our closing general session, Dr. McLinden highlights recent research on the unique challenges to learning and participation in education associated with visual impairment and the potential implications for longer term outcomes. He will illustrate how specialist input can be designed to address these challenges through seeking to ensure that the student’s environment is structured to promote learning (i.e. access to learning) as well as to support the student to learn distinctive skills in order to afford independent learning (i.e. learning to access). Using a bioecological systems framework as a lens, he will help us see how we can navigate the issues practitioners face in facilitating an appropriate curriculum balance to allow learners to acquire key independence skills throughout their educational careers. He will also examine the implications of the framework for planning longer term outcomes in order to promote achievement and ensure learners with visual impairment can be suitably empowered to help shape their own future. 

 2:45-3:00 PM

 Closing

 

2018 Low Incidence Disabilities Active Learning Conference

Victoria College  - Emerging Technology Complex

7403 Lone Tree Road, Victoria, TX 77901

Presenter:  Patty Obrzut, Director, Penrickton Center for the Blind, Michigan

Register now through Region 3 Education Service Center

JackCindy

Given the opportunity, any child can learn!  Active learning, an innovative approach developed by Dr. Lilli Nielsen has reshaped educational programming.  Motivating and empowering those with multiple special needs to be engaged by their environment, instead of being controlled by it.      

Join Ms. Patricia Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R/L., as she provides you with this fresh and pioneering approach.  Learn how to increase functional independence and developmental skills while reducing stereotypical, self-injurious or aggressive behaviors.  This exciting conference will feature lecture, video and demonstrations.  Active Learning equipment and materials will be on display throughout this conference.

Individuals with multiple disabilities (cerebral palsy, visual impairment, cognitive impairment, autism, hearing impairment, etc.) are at great risk from developing reliance on others to interact with the world around them.  Active Learning recognizes that every child/adult with special needs is unique.  The programming and intervention for facilitating learning must reflect this individuality. Active Learning emphasizes creating a developmentally appropriate and enriched environment so that children and adults with multiple special needs become active learners. 

This conference will help professionals and parents understand the theories of Active Learning, to facilitate simple ways to change the environment, and to create a daily curriculum that fosters independent and appropriate developmental learning.  

Learning Objectives for this Conference

Participants will be able to:

  • Establish rich environments to encourage active learning vs. passive learning
  • Identify the role of play as a developmental tool in learning
  • Understanding the dynamic learning circle and the role a disability plays in disrupting this process
  • Identify strategies to encourage developmental learning
  • Identify how to use Active learning as an instrument for decreasing self-injurious behavior, self-stimulatory behaviors or aggressive behaviors
  • Understand the purpose and use of equipment that facilitates an Active Learning environment including:  the Little Room, Resonance Board, HOPSA-dress, Support Bench, Multi-functional table and others.
  • Understand and identify the emotional and intellectual levels of the special needs child. 
  • Identifying the role of the adult in promoting skill development
  • Assess a child’s developmental level with the use of the Functional Scheme
  • Establish a rich and appropriate Active Learning curriculum by developing appropriate IEP goals.  

Our Speaker

Patricia Obrzut is the Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children, a private, non-profit organization serving blind, special needs children ages 1-12 years.  Located in Taylor, Michigan, Penrickton Center offers residential, daycare, and consultative programs at no charge to families.  Ms. Obrzut has a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and received the permission of Dr. Lilli Nielsen in 2002 to provide Active Learning educational trainings. She is considered an expert in the use Active Learning strategies, equipment, techniques, assessment tool and curriculum, implementing programming for special needs children since 1992.

Registration Fee

This year the cost of registration is ONLY $25.

Register now!

Family Members of School-aged Children with Visual Impairments

Limited assistance is available for Texas family members of students with visual impairments or deafblindness.  Please contact your HHSC caseworker if you have an active case open about their ability to help with the cost of registration and travel before requesting assistance from TSBVI Outreach.  To request assistance from TSBVI Outreach contact Kate Hurst at u.

If you are not sure if this conference is for you, you may want to visit the Active Learning Space Website prior to attending this event.  There you will learn some of the basics about Active Learning.

To register for any TSBVI sponsored events, follow the links for each separate event or go to http://txtsbvi.escworks.net (our secure partner website) and view the Calendar of Sessions.

Updated August 2017

This calendar includes training events for the 2017-18 school year related to visual impairments and deafblindness. If you would like to have one of your events included on this Statewide Calendar of Training Events, please send pertinent information to Kate Hurst at . For a listing of TSBVI sponsored webinars, workshops and conferences you may also use the navigation links under the navigation menu to the left of your screen. You may also want to visit the Statewide Leadership Services for Blind and Visually Impaired calendar page for information on other regional training events.


 August

September

October

November

December

January 

February

March

April

May 

June

July



August 2017


August 28, 2017

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

CVI Study GroupFor Credit

Participants will share documents and videos regarding their own students via Google Drive. Participants will discuss newly submitted materials and offer suggestions to share with the community of professionals and parents who would like the opportunity to learn together. Participants will explore suggestions with their student and share how the student responds with the group. Participants will explore topics and resources of interest related to CVI as identified by the group. These webinars will not be recorded.

Additional Related Webinar Dates: 10/23/17, 12/11/17, 2/26/18, 4/23/18.

Register for this event.


September 2017


September 6, 2017

2:30-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 3:30-5:00 PM, Mountain 1:30-3:00 PM, Pacific 12:30-2:00 PM

Low Vision Solutions for Computer (web-based) Work For Credit

Options for computer access for users with low vision continue to increase in the digital age. Numerous options are now available along with the more familiar screen enlarging software.  A comparison of easily available choices for a range of computer and web-based tasks will be highlighted.

Register for this event.


September 15-17, 2017

 DBMAT 44th Annual Family Conference

Camp Young Judaea (CYJ), Wimberly, TX

This weekend is co-sponsored by the Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT), Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), HHSC Blind Children’s Program (formerly DARS), Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Deafblind Outreach. DBMAT appreciates their support for our families. The DBMAT Conference Planning Committee is diligently working to bring about a relaxing, fun-filled, learning weekend for all of our conference participants at Camp Young Judaea located in Wimberley, Texas. This conference is designed for families of children & adults who are deafblind with multiple disabilities and the professionals who serve them.

For more information go to the DBMAT website.


September 26, 2017

2:30-3:30 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 3:30-4:30 PM, Mountain 1:30-2:30 PM, Pacific 12:30-1:30 PM

Designing Routines For Credit

Using video, webinar series participants will collaborate with one another throughout the school year in order to design effective and meaningful routines for their own students. Webinar moderators will present the first student (in September) and participants will volunteer for subsequent student videos. Participants will make suggestions for what will help the student within the routine. The staff who shares their student video will follow up in the next session with video and/or discussion of how the suggestions worked out for the student.

Register now.


 

September 28, 2017

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Active Learning Study GroupFor Credit

This is a 5-part series of webinars that will focus on a variety of topics, such as setting up a classroom and schedule, choosing materials, addressing the student with CVI, using Active Learning with older students and information on research related to Active Learning. Various guest speakers will be a part of this year’s presentations. You must register for each individual session: September 2017, November 2017, January 2018, March 2018, & May 2018.

Register now.


October 2017


October 3, 2017

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Math Teacher Survival Guide: Teaching math to a student with visual impairment For Credit

This webinar will help general ed math teachers to understand how the TVI can help them with their VI student (and others). The presenters will share tips, specialized tools and equipment that are available to help math teachers be ready to improvise in the moment to support their students.

Register now.


 October 5-6, 2017

Introduction to the Intervener Team Model

This is training for the intervener and team members who are working with deafblind students who have been assigned an educational intervener.

 

For more information visit the workshop webpage.


 

October 20-21, 2017

Eye Play

Region 17 ESC, Lubbock, TX (West TX Cluster) 

This is an introductory workshop for parents of infants and toddlers with visual impairments or DeafBlindness.

Look for more information about this event in the fall!


October 20-21, 2017

Southwest Orientation and Mobility Association (SWOMA) Conference

Location: Region 4 Education Service Center, Houston, TX

This year Region 4 ESC hosts SWOMA at their service Center. Some of our confirmed speakers include:

  • Kaye Clark
  • Joe Cioffi
  • Diane Brauner
  • Ed Summers
  • Wendy Scheffers
  • Linda Myers  

For more information or to register visit the Conference webpage.


October 20-12, 2017

Sports Extravaganza

Friday Night - 10/20 • 5 PM (Registration) Grand Prairie High School 101 Gopher Blvd. Grand Prairie, TX 75050

Saturday - 10/21 • 8 AM (Registration) Nimitz High School 100 West Oakdale Irving TX, 75060 

A Sports Competition for Students of all ages and abilities with Visual Impairments, organized by Region 10 Education Service Center.

For more information visit the Sports Extravaganza website.


 October 22-24, 2017

Mentor Center

Mentor Centers provide participants an opportunity to observe experienced TVIs and COMS as they use a variety of strategies and materials with their students on the TSBVI and Austin ISD campuses.  Each participant will have the opportunity to observe between 4-6 individual VI professionals a day.  Participants also have the option to tour the Criss Cole state Rehabilitation Center for adults with visual impairments, located near the TSBVI campus. 

For more information visit the workshop webpage.


October 23, 2017

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

CVI Study Group - October 2017 For Credit

Participants will share documents and videos regarding their own students via Google Drive. Participants will discuss newly submitted materials and offer suggestions to share with the community of professionals and parents who would like the opportunity to learn together. Participants will explore suggestions with their student and share how the student responds with the group. Participants will explore topics and resources of interest related to CVI as identified by the group. These webinars will not be recorded.

Additional Related Webinar Dates:  12/11/17, 2/26/18, 4/23/18.

Register now.


November 2017


November 3 -November 5, 2017

2017 Texas Chargers Retreat

Camp Allen, Navasota Texas

This special family weekend is for family and extended family members of individuals with CHARGE syndrome.  

More information is available at Texas Chargers website.


November 8, 2017

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Visual Art for the Visually Impaired: Infusing art instruction into early literacy For Credit

This webinar is part of an ongoing series addressing accommodations and strategies for making art accessible for students with visual impairment. Early literacy lessons typically make extensive use of art activities such as drawing and coloring. This session will discuss ways that TVI’s can ensure that VI students are also able to benefit from these opportunities.

Register now.


Texas Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind 66th Annual State Convention

November 10-12, 2017

Houston, Texas - DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Hobby Airport

Our annual convention will have something for everyone who is blind, has low vision, or who knows someone who is losing vision. We welcome participation from parents, professionals who work with blind children and adults, and others who have an interest in helping blind people live the lives they want.

 For more information go to the conference website.


November 13, 2017

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Fun Activities for Teaching Kids to Use Monocular Telescopes on a Low Budget For Credit

This webinar will propose the idea that monocular training can incorporate games and activities that are highly motivating to students with low vision in the elementary and early middle school grades. We will share our ideas and materials for engaging your students, and you! And, if YOU have a favorite activity, please share it with us during this webinar.

 Register now.


 November 28, 2017

2:30-3:30 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 3:30-4:30 PM, Mountain 1:30-2:30 PM, Pacific 12:30-1:30 PM

Designing Routines For Credit

Using video, webinar series participants will collaborate with one another throughout the school year in order to design effective and meaningful routines for their own students. Webinar moderators will present the first student (in September) and participants will volunteer for subsequent student videos. Participants will make suggestions for what will help the student within the routine. The staff who shares their student video will follow up in the next session with video and/or discussion of how the suggestions worked out for the student.

Register now.


 November 30, 2017

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Active Learning Study Group For Credit

This is a 5-part series of webinars that will focus on a variety of topics, such as setting up a classroom and schedule, choosing materials, addressing the student with CVI, using Active Learning with older students and information on research related to Active Learning. Various guest speakers will be a part of this year’s presentations. You must register for each individual session: January 2018, March 2018, & May 2018.

Register now.


December 2017


December 1-2, 2017

Mentor Training

Individuals who have completed the mentor application process will be required to attend an initial face-to-face training on the TSBVI campus in Austin.  This training lasts for one and a half days, and covers such topics as common problems of novice teachers, mentor/protégé communication, record keeping for mentors, and promising practice standards for TVIs and COMS.

For more information visit the workshop webpage.


December 8, 2017

Annual Events Series: Studies in Deafblindness for the Advanced Practitioner 

The Biology of Connection: How Relationship-led Teaching Changes Brains, Bodies & Behaviour

The field of DeafBlindness has a small but passionate group of individuals.  This annual event targets professionals working with students with DeafBlindness.  

This training will not provide basic information about DeafBlindness. If you are new to the field you may find the content advanced.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't attend this event; challenge yourself to learn more.  If you are not sure about this event meeting your needs, please feel free to contact us at .

As part of the annual Advanced Practitioners in DeafBlindness Series, this workshop will help participants understand how early experiences go on to shape a child's biology and his/her ability to self-regulate. There will also be a discussion on ways to refine the relational quality of the participants interactions with children who are DeafBlind.

Presented by: Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk
Developmental Psychologist
Founder of the organization: Connected Baby
Dundee, Scotland

Registration Fee:
• Early Registration - $50.00 (Thru November 26)
• Late Registration - $75.00 (Thru December 5)
• Late Cancellation Fee - $25.00 (After December 5)

For more information, please visit our Studies in DeafBlindness for the Advanced Practitioner Home Page. 


December 8-10, 2017

Building Resilience Through Our Relationships: The Power of Connection in Ordinary Moments

Parent and Child Weekend Workshop webpage.


December 11, 2017

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

CVI Study Group For Credit

Participants will share documents and videos regarding their own students via Google Drive. Participants will discuss newly submitted materials and offer suggestions to share with the community of professionals and parents who would like the opportunity to learn together. Participants will explore suggestions with their student and share how the student responds with the group. Participants will explore topics and resources of interest related to CVI as identified by the group. These webinars will not be recorded.

Additional Related Webinar Dates: 2/26/18, 4/23/18.

Register now.


January 2018


January 16, 2018

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Self Determination Units & Lessons: Representing Myself to Others For Credit

Self-determination is a component of the ECC that is critical for student success. Join us in this 3rd webinar, which will cover lesson plans related to: Self-Identification as a Person with a Visual Impairment, Self-Disclosure, Representing Yourself to Others, and Handling Awkward Situations.

Register now.


 January 25, 2018

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Active Learning Study Group For Credit

This is a 5-part series of webinars that will focus on a variety of topics, such as setting up a classroom and schedule, choosing materials, addressing the student with CVI, using Active Learning with older students and information on research related to Active Learning. Various guest speakers will be a part of this year’s presentations. 

Register now.


 January 29, 2018 

3:00-4:00 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Visual Art for the Visually Impaired: Theater Arts For Credit

This webinar is part of an ongoing series addressing accommodations and strategies for making art accessible for students with visual impairment. In this session Robert Pierson, Theater Arts teacher at TSBVI, will share his experiences and insight regarding methods for effective inclusion of VI students in dramatic productions as well as the positive outcomes that can result from their participation.

Register now.


January 30, 2018

2:30-3:30 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 3:30-4:30 PM, Mountain 1:30-2:30 PM, Pacific 12:30-1:30 PM

Designing Routines  For Credit

Using video, participants to this webinar series will collaborate with one another throughout the school year in order to design effective and meaningful routines for their own students. Webinar moderators will present the first student and participants will volunteer for subsequent student videos. This is the second session in the series.

Register now.


February 2018


February 11-13, 2018

Mentor Center

Mentor Centers provide participants an opportunity to observe experienced TVIs and COMS as they use a variety of strategies and materials with their students on the TSBVI and Austin ISD campuses.  Each participant will have the opportunity to observe between 4-6 individual VI professionals a day.  Participants also have the option to tour the Criss Cole state Rehabilitation Center for adults with visual impairments, located near the TSBVI campus.

Register now.


February 23-25, 2018

Family Transition Weekend, “Discovering the Future” - postponed

This weekend workshop will help families of students with visual and multiple impairments, including those with deafblindness, learn to make plans for their family member’s adult life after graduation. The targeted audience is families of middle school and high school students who will need services and supports in the community for plans other than traditional graduation to college and career.

For more information visit the workshop webpage.


February 26, 2018

3:00-4:00 PM (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

CVI Study Group For Credit

Participants will share documents and videos regarding their own students via Google Drive. Participants will discuss newly submitted materials and offer suggestions to share with the community of professionals and parents who would like the opportunity to learn together. Participants will explore suggestions with their student and share how the student responds with the group. Participants will explore topics and resources of interest related to CVI as identified by the group. These webinars will not be recorded.

Register now.


February 28-March 1, 2018

Low Incidence Disabilities Network Active Learning Conference (Workshop #149027)

9:00 AM —4:00 PM (both days)

Victoria Emerging Technology Conference Center, 7403 Lone Tree, Victoria, TX

Presented by ESC Region 3 and Ms. Patricia Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R/L. Given the opportunity, any child can learn! Active learning, an innovative approach developed by Dr.Lilli Nielsen has reshaped educational programming. Motivating and empowering those with multiple special needs to be engaged by their environment, instead of being controlled by it. Join Ms. Patricia Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R/L., and learn how to increase functional independence and developmental skills while reducing stereotypical, selfinjurious or aggressive behaviors. This exciting conference will feature lecture, video and demonstrations. Active Learning equipment and materials will be on display throughout this conference. Individuals with multiple disabilities (cerebral palsy, visual impairment, cognitive impairment, autism, hearing impairment, etc.) are at great risk from developing reliance on others to interact with the world around them. Active Learning recognizes that every child/adult with special needs is unique. The programming and intervention for facilitating learning must reflect this individuality. Active Learning emphasizes creating a developmentally appropriate and enriched environment so that children and adults with multiple special needs become active learners. This conference will help professionals and parents understand the theories of Active Learning, to facilitate simple ways to change the environment, and to create a daily curriculum that fosters independent and appropriate developmental learning.

Registration Cost: $25.00

For more information contact: Lottie Tomko  361-573-0731

To register go to Region 3 ESC.


March 2018


 March 1-3, 2018

Texas Focus

Crowne Plaza, Austin, TX

This year's Texas Focus Conference includes a special pre-conference day for parents and professionals.  Confirmed speakers include:

  • Anat Baniel
  • Anne Corn
  • Lauren Leiberman
  • Michael McLinden
  • Patty Obrzut
  • Athena Oden
  • Karen Reynus
  • Christine Roman-Lantzy
  • Penny Rosenblum

For more information or to register visit the Texas Focus 2018 webpage.


March 6, 2018

3:00-4:15 PM (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5:15 PM, Mountain 2-3:15 PM, Pacific 1-2:15 PM

Tactile Map Guidelines For Credit

This webinar will look at how to create tactile maps using guidelines for students who are blind and visually impaired. It will include examples of how to represent point features, line features, area features, names with braille characters, map keys and legends, compass rose indicators, etc. Various computer programs such as Microsoft Word and vector graphics programs will also be discussed.

Register now.


March 27, 2018

2:30-3:30 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 3:30-4:30 PM, Mountain 1:30-2:30 PM, Pacific 12:30-1:30 PM

Designing Routines For Credit

Using video, participants to this webinar series will collaborate with one another throughout the school year in order to design effective and meaningful routines for their own students. Webinar moderators will present the first student and participants will volunteer for subsequent student videos. This is the third session in the series.

Register now.


March 29, 2018

3:00-4:00 PM Central Standard Time (4-5 PM Eastern, 2-3 PM Mountain, 1-2 PM Pacific)

Active Learning Study Group For Credit

This is a 5-part series of webinars that will focus on a variety of topics, such as setting up a classroom and schedule, choosing materials, addressing the student with CVI, using Active Learning with older students and information on research related to Active Learning. Various guest speakers will be a part of this year’s presentations. You must register for each individual session: September 2017, November 2017, January 2018, March 2018, & May 2018.

Register now.


March 29-April 2, 2018

Game of Life

In this weekend course, students and their parents must attend together. Students will be taught by teaching staff in Short-Term Programs while parents will attend a conference portion hosted by the Outreach department. Hotel lodging will be available for adults and paid for by TSBVI. Students will reside on the Short-Term Programs dorm. The goal is for students to understand ways that they can “step up” as they transition to adult life, while parents will learn ways to “step back”, as they support their child with this transition.

More information coming in the fall!


April 2018


April 6-8, 2018

In the Driver’s Seat

This 3-day student-parent workshop is co-hosted by TSBVI Short-term Programs and Outreach Programs.  Parents attend with the student and have opportunities to learn about pre-driver readiness skills, use of bioptics for driving, and steps to preparing for driver's license.  Both parents and students participate in “passenger” driving exercises and ask questions about low vision evaluations, rehabilitation driver’s training, and more from the experts. 

Please visit the Short-term Programs calendar to learn more about the student registration.


April 12-15, 2018

Texas AER Conference

Fort Worth, Texas

Look for more registration in the fall!


April 15-18, 2018

Dbi Network of the Americas Conference'

Cape Cod, Massachusetts - Resourt and Conference Center at Hyannis

Deafblind International and Perkins School for the Blind are excited to host the first-ever Network of the Americas Conference. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to network, learn and have fun with leaders in the field of deafblindness from Canada, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

We’re all stronger when we work together. Our conference theme – Partnerships for lifelong learning – acknowledges the importance of teamwork. By partnering as educators, service providers, consumers, policymakers, advocates and family members, together we can offer a lifelong array of support for the deafblind community – spanning from early intervention and K-12 education to programs, services and products for adults. Be sure to join us!

Early bird registration ends October 31, 2017.  For more information visit the Conference webpage.


April 22-24, 2018

 Mentor Center

Mentor Centers provide participants an opportunity to observe experienced TVIs and COMS as they use a variety of strategies and materials with their students on the TSBVI and Austin ISD campuses.  Each participant will have the opportunity to observe between 4-6 individual VI professionals a day.  Participants also have the option to tour the Criss Cole state Rehabilitation Center for adults with visual impairments, located near the TSBVI campus.

Register now.


April 23, 2018

3:00-4:00 PM (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

CVI Study Group For Credit

Participants will share documents and videos regarding their own students via Google Drive. Participants will discuss newly submitted materials and offer suggestions to share with the community of professionals and parents who would like the opportunity to learn together. Participants will explore suggestions with their student and share how the student responds with the group. Participants will explore topics and resources of interest related to CVI as identified by the group. These webinars will not be recorded.

Register now.


 

April 30, 2018

3:00-4:00 PM (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Visual Art for the Visually Impaired: Accommodations in Art for Students with Multiple Impairments For Credit

This webinar is part of an ongoing series addressing accommodations and strategies for making art accessible for students with visual impairment. In this session, we will focus on students with visual impairments and multiple impairments and how art activities can be modified in order to provide effective and meaningful learning experiences for them.

Register now.


May 2018


May 4, 2018

Low Vision Conference

TSBVI James C. Durkel Conference Center, Austin, TX

Plans are just beginning for this event.  Check back in the Fall for details.


May 8, 2018

3:00-4:15 PM Central Standard Time (4-5:15 PM Eastern, 2-3:15 PM Mountain, 1-2:15 PM Pacific)

Caseload Point System For Credit

Current caseload point systems from around the country will be discussed in relation to finding a point system that represents students’ functional needs and the workload of COMS’s and TVI’s. These concepts for caseload point systems will then be applied to administrative action triggers to allow for naturally occurring staff level changes based on student enrollment rather than having to rely on direct and often time consumer advocacy of the COMS, TVI, parent, or other blindness/vision professional. Specific suggestions for creating a caseload point system that represents a district’s or region’s unique set of variables will be addressed.

Register now.


 

May 17, 2018

3:00-4:00 PM (Central Standard Time) Eastern 4-5 PM, Mountain 2-3 PM, Pacific 1-2 PM

Active Learning Study Group For Credit

This is a 5-part series of webinars that will focus on a variety of topics, such as setting up a classroom and schedule, choosing materials, addressing the student with CVI, using Active Learning with older students and information on research related to Active Learning. Various guest speakers will be a part of this year’s presentations. 

Register now.


 

May 22, 2018

2:30-3:30 PM  (Central Standard Time) Eastern 3:30-4:30 PM, Mountain 1:30-2:30 PM, Pacific 12:30-1:30 PM

Designing Routines For Credit

Using video, participants to this webinar series will collaborate with one another throughout the school year in order to design effective and meaningful routines for their own students. Webinar moderators will present the first student and participants will volunteer for subsequent student videos. This is the final session in the series.

Register now.


June 2018


July 2018


 

Anat Baniel, founder of Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®, and author of Kids Beyond Limits, San Rafael, CA

Anat Baniel, founder of Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®, is the author of two highly acclaimed books, Move Into Life: NeuroMovement® for Lifelong Vitality and Kids Beyond Limits. Anat was trained as a clinical psychologist, dancer, and was a close professional associate of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais for over a decade. In 1982 Anat Baniel moved to New York City where she quickly developed a practice working with babies and young children; with musicians; with athletes and with adults suffering back pain, injury, etc. She also began teaching seminars and professional training programs worldwide. Anat Baniel’s work with children with special needs is world-renown, applauded by parents, health professionals, and those at the cutting edge of the neurosciences. Increasing numbers of leading brain scientists, medical doctors, and others in the helping professions are enthusiastically endorsing Anat Baniel Method (ABM) NeuroMovement® for her work with adults, as well as with children with special needs.

Dr. Lauren Lieberman, Professor, The College of Brockport, State University of New York

Dr. Lauren Lieberman is a distinguished service professor at The College at Brockport, State University of New York.  She is an internationally recognized presenter and a widely published author of research articles and books. Her sessions at Texas Focus 2018 will concentrate on ensuring access to sports and physical activities, whether in PE class, school sports teams, or the community, for all students with disabilities. She is also Director of Camp Abilities Brockport, a camp that seeks to to empower children and teens with visual impairments to be physically active and productive members of their schools, towns, cities, and communities, as well as to improve the health and well-being of people with sensory impairments. 

Larry L. Lewis, President of Flying Blind, LLC, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Founded in May of 2006, Flying Blind. LLC is a US-Based (Ohio) Limited Liability Company whose mission is to empower persons who are vision impaired with the necessary Adaptive Technology Solutions to make them independent and efficient in unlimited capacities. Flying Blind, LLC's founder, Mr. Larry L. Lewis, Jr., has over fifteen years of practical experience serving the Adaptive Technology Industry in a variety of capacities which include domestic and international product management and sales management roles with companies that have rich histories in developing speech and Braille solutions for the Adaptive Technology Industry. Mr. Lewis is congenitally blind and attributes his successes to Braille literacy, which has enabled him to develop the skill sets necessary to start his own company, a boyhood dream which finally became a reality in May of 2006

Kassandra Maloney, Yoga Instructor and author of Yoga for Children with Visual and Multiple Impairments, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

Kassandra is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist and Yoga Teacher at Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired where she has worked for the past 10 years. She  became a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance and then a Radiant Child Yoga Teacher in 2010 and never looked back! Since then, she has been teaching yoga and movement to students at TSBVI where she combines her passions for orientation and mobility and yoga as she works with students with visual impairments! Last year her first book, Yoga for Children with Visual Impairments was published by TSBVI.  Kassandra is also an avid blogger and shares her thoughts and tips on orientation and mobility, yoga, and other topics.

Dr. Michael McLinden,  author of Learning Through Touch: Supporting Children with Visual Impairments and Additional Difficulties and Professor in Education, University of Birmingham, UK

Michael is concerned with the inclusion of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. He is co-Director of the Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research(VICTAR) in the Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) at the University of Birmingham and programme lead for the professional development courses in visual impairment. Approximately 100 part time students are registered on programmes offered within the centre, making it the largest single provider of specialist courses in this field in Europe. His book, Learning Through Touch, was written to assist teachers and other professionals who support children with visual impairment and additional difficulties and examines the role of touch in developing effective teaching and learning.

Dr. Elina Mullen, Physical Education Instructor, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

Elina was born in Mombasa, Kenya, East Africa and was trained as a licensed teacher in Kenya and obtained a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctorate in Education, in the United States of America, in physical education, planning and administration and implementation of physical education programs for the total population. Elina has worked as a teacher at the elementary and high school level.  She also lectured at Kenyatta University College, a teacher training facility in Kenya, East Africa and at many institutions and functions about the topic of physical education.  Elina is currently working as a Certified Adapted Physical Educator at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and is a Consultant in the area of adapted physical education for the multi-handicapped in its Outreach Department.  She is also in much demand as an in-service training presenter.

Patty Obrzut, OTR and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Taylor, MI

Penrickton Center for Blind Children is a unique, private non-profit agency, providing five-day residential, day care, and consultation/evaluation services to blind, multi-disabled children ages one through twelve. Patty joined Penrickton Center in 1987 as the Occupational Therapist and after attending a conference in 1992 given by Dr. Lilli Nielsen, began her study of Active Learning. During the following years, she attended over ten conferences given by Dr. Nielsen and developed a personal relationship with her. Immediately after implementing Active Learning techniques at Penrickton Center, staff saw changes in the independent activity of the children. As a result Dr. Nielsen was invited to provide training for staff and eventually Patty spent several weeks in Denmark with Dr. Nielsen observing Active Learning techniques in action. Finally, in 2002, Dr. Nielson granted Patty permission to lecture on techniques of Active Learning. In addition to her responsibilities at Penrickton Patty lectures nationally and contributes regularly to the development of the website, Active Learning Space, collaboratively developed by Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Perkins School for the Blind and Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired.

Athena Oden, Pediatric Physical Therapist and author of the Ready Bodies Learning Minds, San Antonio, TX

Athena is widely known in Texas and across the US for her down to earth approach to teaching, and the practical and powerful nature of the Ready Bodies, Learning Minds program. Whether it is a presentation to hundreds of therapists, or on the floor with children in a Ready Bodies Motor Lab, Athena is driven by the sincere desire to apply her knowledge to help those that choose to work with her. She is a professional and engaging speaker and an experienced therapist with a clear mission: To help children perform at their peak, and to help therapists, teachers and parents understand the fundamental issues involved with sensory integration, motor skills, learning and performance. 

Karen Ranus, Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Austin, TX

Karen is the Director of NAMI in Austin.  NAMI's goal is to improve the lives of all persons affected by serious mental illness by providing support, education, and advocacy throughout the Metropolitan area of Austin, Texas to individuals and families affected by mental illness. Founded in 1984, NAMI Austin is dedicated to supporting the inclusion of individuals with mental illness throughout the organization. They provide guidance, coordination and resources to promote communication and education in Central Texas.

Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, Director of the Pediatric View Program, Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Pittsburg, PA

Christine Roman-Lantzy received degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education/Visual Impairment at Michigan State Universi and worked as an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired in the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area for 17 years prior to becoming a Research Assistant in the Vision Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She also completed studies in Orientation & Mobility and received a Master’s Degree in Medically Fragile/High Risk Infants. Dr. Roman-Lantzy is the Director of The Pediatric View Program at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and a former Project Leader of the CVI Project at The American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, KY. She has lectured extensively regarding the CVI educational materials she has developed and the books she has written that have been published by The American Foundation for the Blind.

Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Dr. Rosenblum is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at the University of Arizona where she joined the faculty in August 1999. From 1999 to 2016 she prepared teachers to work with children with visual impairments (TVIs). During that time she coordinated teacher preparation programs in Arizona and Nevada.  In July 2016 she became the Project Director for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) federal project Animal Watch Vi: Building Graphics Literacy, a follow-up project to the 4 year AnimalWatch-VI Suite. Both projects aim to support youth with visual impairments in building their ability to be successful in pre-alegbra math word problem solving skills so they have the skills to suceed in algebra and beyond. As a person with low vision, Dr. Rosenblum is able to share first-hand information with future teachers about the impact of a visual impairment on the lives of children and adults. Dr. Rosenblum has been a teacher of children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities in Pennsylvania (2 years), South Carolina (3 years), and Arizona (3 years). Currently she is providing family education services on a part-time basis for the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind. 

Dr. Neil Sharp, ABM Practioner, ABM Center, San Rafael, California

Neil Sharp trained as an M.D. at Cambridge University and Edinburgh University Medical School. He worked in the United Kingdom as a doctor before leaving medicine to pursue a career in music as an opera singer, musical director, and violinist. Neil began training with Anat Baniel in 2004 and moved to the U.S. in 2007 to work as an ABM Practitioner at the ABM Center in San Rafael, California.

Monica Turner, Field Services Representative, American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, KY

Monica is a Field Services Representative for APH where she provides presentations on APH products, product exhibitions, and inservice events centering on students and their families. The American Printing House for the Blind gives serious consideration to ideas for products that improve the lives of persons who are blind and visually impaired, especially product ideas that support Core and/or Expanded Core Curricula, since both are essential to the education of students and clients who are blind or visually impaired.

Heather Withrow, Deaf Blogger, Artist, Coach, and Mother of a Deaf and a DeafBlindSonand Hearing Daughter, Austin, TX

Hearther is a former Teaching Fellow in Visual Arts at Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center and studied Orientation & Mobility at Texas Tech University. However her most important credential is as a mother to two sons (one deaf and the other DeafBlind) and a hearing daughter.  Heather brings her personal experience as a parent and as a person who is deaf in thinking about how parents can support their child in becoming more active. She is also a dedicated blogger (A Mom's Musings) sharing her experience in raising Orion, her son with DeafBlindness.

Please Note:

You may register online and pay with a credit card at the time of registration or send a check or purchase order at a later date.  If you do not know the number of your check or purchase order enter "0000". We encourage you to register right away to get the Early Bird Rate.  You may cancel up to February 21st and pay no cancellation fee.  After February 21st you may be subject to a $25 cancellation fee.


TXFocus18MD

2018 Texas Focus Conference:

On the Move

March 1-3, 2018

Crowne Plaza Austin North Central

Austin, Texas 

We have a brain for one reason and one reason only -- that’s to produce adaptable and complex movements. Movement is the only way we have of affecting the world around us… I believe that to understand movement is to understand the whole brain. And therefore it’s important to remember when you are studying memory, cognition, sensory processing, they’re there for a reason, and that reason is action.

Daniel Wolpert, Neuroscientist


This year's Texas Focus takes a broad focus on movement and the important role it plays in learning and living a healthy and happy life.

Pre-conference Day - March 1, 2018

We begin with two special half-day preconference events on March 1st:

Ready, Set, Go! Orientation and Mobility Workshop for adult family members 

Heather Withrow, Parent, and Outreach Staff

James C. Durkel Conference Center, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired

This highly interactive event will help family members gain a better understanding of skills related to movement for an individual with a visual impairment or blindness.  This event will be held on the at Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired campus. Participants will learn strategies for incorporating more movement into typical activities at home and in the community through safe travel and participation in recreation and leisure activities.  They will also learn how to support their child to get a move on and do it safely and successfully.  Participants will have the opportunity to explore options such as yoga, goalball, beep baseball, Active Learning, Bonding and Relaxation Techniques (BART), tandem biking, One-Touch Self-Defense, etc.  They will also have opportunities to learn about Orientation and Mobility Services that should be available to their child in their home district and to ask questions about these services.

Meeting the Unique Needs of Students in Phase III CVI for professionals

Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy

Crowne Plaza Austin North Central Hotel

Dr. Roman will be focusing on characteristics, scoring, and supports and interventions for Phase III CVI.  Some of the points she will be covering include:

  • Movement, orientation in space and the need for independent travel are often overlooked with students in Phase III.
  • Students in Phase III often face significant challenges in social experiences and will most likely need instruction in social skills.
  • Most CVI characteristics do not ever fully “resolve”, even in Phase III.
  • The most common CVI Range scoring errors occur in Phase III.

This session will be packed with information and Dr. Roman will have a special Q&A session to answer your questions during a separate session on March 2nd at 3:30pm.  Please write down any questions and bring them to the Q&A!

Main Conference - March 2-3, 2018

The main conference event takes place beginning the morning of March 2nd and continues through March 3rd at the Crowne Plaza Austin North Central Hotel.  Our list or presenters includes:

  • Anat Baniel, Founder of Anat Baniel Method (ABM) Center 
  • Dr. Lauren Lieberman,  Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies & Physical Education at SUNY Brockport
  • Larry Lewis, Flying Blind, LLC's founder in Ohio
  • Kassandra Maloney, TVI and Yoga Instructor, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
  • Dr. Michael McLinden, author of Learning Through Touch : Supporting Children with Visual Impairments and Additional Difficulties and Professor at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Dr. Elina Mullen, Physical Education Instructor, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
  • Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, Professor of Practice, Disability & Psychoeducational Studies and  Project Director for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) federal project Animal Watch Vi: Building Graphics Literacy
  • Patty Obrzut, Occupational Therapist and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Michigan
  •  Athena Oden, Pediatric Physical Therapist, Owner of Ready Bodies, Learning Minds
  • Karen Ranus, Director, National Allliance on Mental Illness, Austin, TX
  • Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy, Director of Pediatric VIEW Program, Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Neil Sharp, ABM Trainer, San Francisco, California
  • Monica Turner, Field Services Representative for American Printing House for the Blind

A more detailed agenda can be found at https://www.tsbvi.edu/tx-focus-agenda.


Registration

Registration opens November 1, 2017 and ends Feburary 18th.  Please review the agenda prior to registration; you will need to make selections during each of the breakout sessions.

Registration fees are as follows and includes the cost of the optional pre-conference events:

  • Family and Professional Early Bird Rate (thru January 31st) - $250.00
  • Family and Professional Rate (from February 1st) - $300.00
  • Paraprofessional and University Student Early Bird Rate (thru January 31st) - $100.00
  • Paraprofessional and University Student Rate (from February 1st) - $150.00
  • Out-of-State Registration (thru January 31st) - $350.00
  • Out-of-state Registration (from February1st ) - $400.00

REGISTER NOW!!

You may register online and pay with a credit card at the time of registration or send a check or purchase order at a later date.  If you do not know the number of your check or purchase order enter "0000". We encourage you to register right away to get the Early Bird Rate.  You may cancel up to February 21st and pay no cancellation fee.  After February 21st you may be subject to a $25 cancellation fee.

Family members from Texas may request assistance to cover the cost of registration, child care arranged at home, travel and lodging. Please contact your HHSC or TWC caseworker to determine which costs they can cover before making a request from Outreach Programs.  If you cannot receive assistance from them, you may request assistance from TSBVI Outreach when you register. Someone from our staff will contact you about your request.

Limited assistance may also be available to cover the cost of registration for professionals and paraprofessionals.  Please contact your regional ESC VI Consultant if you are interested in these funds. The Mentor Voucher payment option may only be used by individuals  employed by eligible Education Service Centers.  If you have questions about Mentor vouchers, please contact Chrissy Cowan at .

Questions?

Contact Carrie Keith at or 512-206-9314.

Handouts for the 2017 SWOMA Conference are posted below in four different formats: Regular Print Word, Regular Print PDF, Large Print Word and Large Print PDF.  Some of our SWOMA presenters have chosen not to include a handout. Please download and/or print any of the handouts you wish to have access to for SWOMA 2017.  All handouts will be removed from this site on October 30th.

Session Guide

We will be providing everyone a SWOMA Session Guide in a paper format.  However, if you would like to download an electronic version you may do that as well.

(Regular Print Word, Regular Print PDF, Large Print Word or PDF)

Handouts

Friday, October 20th 

General Session

9:00 – 11:45 AM

Street Crossings for Travelers Who Are Visually Impaired

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

Additional handout packet in Regular Print PDF or Large Print PDF or Word

Breakout Sessions

1:00-2:30 PM

#1 - Money! Money! Money! For My Students

Regular Print Word or PDF

#2 - Mobility Devices and Very Young Children

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

#3 - O&M Assessment & Instruction Strategies for Individuals who are DeafBlind or have Combined Vision and Hearing Losses (CVHL)

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

#4 - Yoga and Movement for Children with Visual and Multiple Impairments

No handout provided

Breakout Sessions

3:00 - 4:30 PM               

#1 On the Go Data and Progress Monitoring

Important Note! As the nature of Google Forms are different than a traditional download, please make a copy for yourself from the form once using the following link; that way any changes you make will not affect the master document that everyone will copy from.

Link for accessing the Google Form for IEP Sample Data form: http://bit.ly/SampleIEPdata

#2 Active Learning Approach to O&M Instruction

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

#3 Driverless Vehicles: Impact on O&M

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

#4 A Model for Blindness Wayfinding

No handout provided.

 

4:30-5:30 PM

Blindfold Practice

 

Nearby Explorer: Discovering the World Around Me

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

Saturday, October 21st

General Session

8:30 - 10:00 AM       

Hi-Tech O&M for Everyone Parts 1 & 2

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

SWOMA Working Luncheon

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

 VictorReader Trek

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

Breakout Sessions

12:30 - 2:00 PM 

#1 Indoor Navigation with Beacons Panel

No handout provided.

#2 Nurturing Early Purposeful Movement and Travel

Regular Print Word or PDF

Large Print Word or PDF

 

Questions or Problems?

Please contact Carrie Keith at 512-206-9314 if you have any problems downloading the files, questions or special requests related to handouts.

 

Return to the main SWOMA Conference Page.

2017-18 Calendar

To register for any of these events, follow the links for each separate event or go to http://txtsbvi.escworks.net (our secure partner website) and view the Calendar of Sessions.

For Credit All of our workshops and conferences have been approved for continuing education credit (ACVREP and SBEC). In order to be eligible for continuing education credit for participation in any of our events, you must register for this event, sign the roster for the session(s) you attend, and complete an evaluation using a code following the event.  You will need to create an account the first time you enter the site. If there is a fee for the registration, you will be asked for a PO or check number during registration, unless you are paying by credit card. If you do not have the number at the time of registration, simply enter 0000 in that box. You can send in payment or bring it with you to the event. 


August 8-11, 2017

Braille Boot Camp: Braille and Tactile Graphic Production: A  workshop for paraprofessionals and other beginners to braille and tactile graphics productions

James C. Durkel Conference Center

Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired 

Austin, Texas

 Braille Boot Camp is four days of hands-on experiential learning focused on braille and tactile graphic production.  Susan Mattson and Sharon Nichols will lead participants through both small group and individual activities to create braille and tactile graphic documents. 

Activities include:

  • Braille Document Production for Literary, Foreign Language, Mathematics and Technical materials
  • Tactile Graphic Production of one-page and multiple-page tactile graphics
  • Creation of Templates for basic shapes and Cartesian coordinate planes
  • Applying braille format and tactile graphic placement decision-making
  • Document conversion into editable text
  • Opportunity to work with graphic embossers and software programs used in producing tactile graphics

All sessions start at 8:30 am and end at 4:00 pm


October 5-6, 2017

Introduction to the Intervener Team Model

This is training for the intervener and team members who are working with deafblind students who have been assigned an educational intervener.

For more information visit the workshop webpage.


SWOMA

October 20-21, 2017

Location: Region 4 Education Service Center, Houston, TX

This year Region 4 ESC hosts SWOMA at their service Center. Some of our confirmed speakers include:

  • Kaye Clark
  • Joe Cioffi
  • Diane Brauner
  • Ed Summers
  • Wendy Scheffers
  • Linda Myers  

For more information visit the workshop webpage


October 22-24, 2017

Mentor Center

Mentor Centers provide participants an opportunity to observe experienced TVIs and COMS as they use a variety of strategies and materials with their students on the TSBVI and Austin ISD campuses.  Each participant will have the opportunity to observe between 4-6 individual VI professionals a day.  Participants also have the option to tour the Criss Cole state Rehabilitation Center for adults with visual impairments, located near the TSBVI campus. 

For more information visit the workshop webpage.


 

December 1-2, 2017

Mentor Training

Individuals who have completed the mentor application process will be required to attend an initial face-to-face training on the TSBVI campus in Austin.  This training lasts for one and a half days, and covers such topics as common problems of novice teachers, mentor/protégé communication, record keeping for mentors, and promising practice standards for TVIs and COMS.

For more information visit the workshop webpage.


 December 8, 2017

The Biology of Connection: How relationship led teaching changes brains, bodies and behaviour

Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Austin, TX

The field of DeafBlindness has a small but passionate group of individuals.  This annual event targets professionals working with students with DeafBlindness.  

This training will not provide basic information about DeafBlindness. If you are new to the field you may find the content advanced.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't attend this event; challenge yourself to learn more.  If you are not sure about this event meeting your needs, please feel free to contact us at .

Presented by:

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, Developmental Psychologist and 

Founder of the Organization connected baby 

Dundee, Scotland 

What happens when we place connection at the center of all thinking in the field of DeafBlindness?

Communication is always about connection; Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, a specialist in parent-infant communication, will encourage us think about ways to establish bonds through relationship building, and positive interactions. She will discuss how early life experiences can go on to shape children’s biology and brain architecture, and review evidence showing that relationships are central to healthy human functioning.  Our understanding of this basic science will allow us to reflect on whether the ideas of connection are sufficiently embedded at the core thinking within the field of DeafBlindness – and if not, what we need to do to overcome any gaps we find.

For more information visit http://www.tsbvi.edu/studies-in-deafblindness-for-advanced-practitioner.

To register to to https://txtsbvi.escworks.net/catalog/conference.aspx?conference_id=39409.


January 9-12, 2018

Braille Boot Camp: Braille and Tactile Graphic Production: A  workshop for paraprofessionals and other beginners to braille and tactile graphics productions

James C. Durkel Conference Center

Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired 

Austin, Texas

 Braille Boot Camp is four days of hands-on experiential learning focused on braille and tactile graphic production.  Susan Mattson and Sharon Nichols will lead participants through both small group and individual activities to create braille and tactile graphic documents. 

Activities include:

  • Braille Document Production for Literary, Foreign Language, Mathematics and Technical materials
  • Tactile Graphic Production of one-page and multiple-page tactile graphics
  • Creation of Templates for basic shapes and Cartesian coordinate planes
  • Applying braille format and tactile graphic placement decision-making
  • Document conversion into editable text
  • Opportunity to work with graphic embossers and software programs used in producing tactile graphics

All sessions start at 8:30 am and end at 4:00 pm

For Additional Information visit the Braille Boot Camp webpage.

Register Now!


February 11-13, 2018

Mentor Center

Mentor Centers provide participants an opportunity to observe experienced TVIs and COMS as they use a variety of strategies and materials with their students on the TSBVI and Austin ISD campuses.  Each participant will have the opportunity to observe between 4-6 individual VI professionals a day.  Participants also have the option to tour the Criss Cole state Rehabilitation Center for adults with visual impairments, located near the TSBVI campus.


February 23-25, 2018

Family Transition Weekend, “Discovering the Future” - postponed

This weekend workshop will help families of students with visual and multiple impairments, including those with deafblindness, learn to make plans for their family member’s adult life after graduation. The targeted audience is families of middle school and high school students who will need services and supports in the community for plans other than traditional graduation to college and career.

For more information visit the workshop webpage.


 

March 1-3, 2018

Texas Focus

Crowne Plaza, Austin, TX

This year's Texas Focus Conference includes a special pre-conference day for parents and professionals.  Confirmed speakers include:

  • Anat Baniel
  • Anne Corn
  • Lauren Leiberman
  • Michael McLinden
  • Patty Obrzut
  • Athena Oden
  • Karen Reynus
  • Christine Roman-Lantzy
  • Penny Rosenblum

For more information visit the conference webpage.


March, 2018

Active Learning Conference

Region 3 Education Service Center, Victoria, TX

This conference focuses on an approach for educating students who are sensorimotor or early pre-operational learners (developmentally functioning between birth to about 6 years old) of any age. The Active Learning Approach was developed by Dame Lilli Nielsen of Denmark and is used especially with students who are visually and multiply impaired. This year Region 3 ESC Low Incidence Disabilities Network hosts this event in Victoria.  Dates are still being negotiated.  Check back in the fall.


March 29-April 2, 2018

Game of Life

In this weekend course, students and their parents must attend together. Students will be taught by teaching staff in Short-Term Programs while parents will attend a conference portion hosted by the Outreach department. Hotel lodging will be available for adults and paid for by TSBVI. Students will reside on the Short-Term Programs dorm. The goal is for students to understand ways that they can “step up” as they transition to adult life, while parents will learn ways to “step back”, as they support their child with this transition.


April 6-8, 2018

In the Driver’s Seat

This 3-day student-parent workshop is co-hosted by TSBVI Short-term Programs and Outreach Programs.  Parents attend with the student and have opportunities to learn about pre-driver readiness skills, use of bioptics for driving, and steps to preparing for driver's license.  Both parents and students participate in “passenger” driving exercises and ask questions about low vision evaluations, rehabilitation driver’s training, and more from the experts.


April 22-24, 2018

 Mentor Center

Mentor Centers provide participants an opportunity to observe experienced TVIs and COMS as they use a variety of strategies and materials with their students on the TSBVI and Austin ISD campuses.  Each participant will have the opportunity to observe between 4-6 individual VI professionals a day.  Participants also have the option to tour the Criss Cole state Rehabilitation Center for adults with visual impairments, located near the TSBVI campus.


May 4, 2018

Low Vision Conference

TSBVI James C. Durkel Conference Center, Austin, TX

Plans are just beginning for this event.  Check back in the Fall for details.


TSBVI On-the-Road Training Events

We are currently planning with various Education Service Center consultants to co-host events in their regions (see the tentative list below).  Please contact Kate Hurst at mailto: or submit a request for training if you would like to bring one of our training events to your region.


October 20-21, 2017

Region 17 ESC (West TX Cluster) – Eye Play


October 27, 2017

Region 2 ESC – Low Vision Conference


Date TBD

Region 14 – Low Vision Conference


Date TBD

Region 10 ESC – In the Driver’s Seat


Date TBD

Region 11 ESC – City Travel


Return to Top


TXFocus18SMThe 2018 Texas Focus Conference welcomes vendors, exhibitors and poster sessions, especially those related to this year's focus on movement. Here are some of the things you should know.

Step 1: Submit the 2018 Texas Focus Request to Exhibit exhibit online.

Step 2: Register for the Conference and pay a registration fee if you plan to attend any sessions. 

Step 3: Send advertisement information and images to Kate Hurst at .

Payments should be made by check or purchase order to TSBVI Outreach Programs - TX Focus and mailed or emailed to Carrie Keith at TSBVI Outreach Programs, 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, TX 78756 or .

You have options for when and how long you are at a table during the Conference. These options are:

  • Friday, March 2nd (7:30 AM - 5:00 PM) only
  • Saturday, March 3rd (7:30 AM - 1:00 PM) only
  • Both Friday and Saturday, March 2nd-3rd
  • Saturday March 3rd (11:45 AM - 12:30 PM only during the special vendor/poster session breakout)

If you wish to sponsor a break or social event, we would gratefully accept your support.  In return we will include information about your agency, organization or business in our Conference Session Guide.  The size of the advertisements and contributions are listed below:

  • business card size for $50
  • 1/4 page for $100
  • 1/2 page for $200
  • full page for $400