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TSBVI at sunset

Joe Gibson

Promoting the Use of the Outdoors with and for People who are DeafBlind for Leisure, Educational and Therapeutic Purposes.  

Dr. Joe Gibson, Outdoor Activities Coordinator, Sense Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland

Dr. Gibson was the opening keynote speaker at the Symposium.  He discussed developing an understanding of some of the theories relating to the beneficial use of the outdoor environment and how these might apply to people who are DeafBlind.  He shared practices of and opportunities for using the outdoors with people who are DeafBlind and different cultural ways of using and viewing the outdoor environment.  



Watch a video interview with Dr. Joe Gibson.


The Importance of Emotional Connection for Human Health and Happiness: How our early experiences of connection shape expectations about how other people are likely to treat us

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, Founder of the connected baby and Research Professor at the University of Dundee, Scotland

What does emotional connection during infancy look like, and why are early experiences so important to later human functioning? In this informal workshop, Suzanne will use video footage of DeafBlind and non-DeafBlind infants to illuminate patterns of emotional exchange, exploring the biological consequences these early patterns hold for later development. This platform will leave us well placed to think more deeply about how the early life experiences of DeafBlind people, usually unknown and unconsidered, go on to affect the way they relate to practitioners, care-givers and families later in childhood and adulthood.



Watch a video interview with Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk.


The Forgotten Senses

David Brown, DeafBlind Consultant, San Francisco, California

The presenter will discuss the often-forgotten vestibular (balance) and proprioceptive (pressure) senses. His presentation will provide simple explanations of these two senses, how they work, the purposes they serve, and how important they are to child development. He will discuss the impact of functioning for these sensory systems on students with Charge Syndrome and other conditions associated with DeafBlindness.


Watch a video interview with David Brown.

Dr. Judy Cameron with a poster of the developing brain of a child.

Impact of Stress on Brain Architecture and Resilience

Dr. Judy Cameron, Professor, University of Pittsburgh and member of the Harvard Center on Child Development, Pittsburg, PA

Science tells us that early childhood is a time of both great promise and considerable risk. Having responsive relationships with adults, growth-promoting experiences, and healthy environments for all young children helps build sturdy brain architecture and the foundations of resilience. The following key scientific concept areas and their impact on child development will also be discussed: toxic stress, serve and return interactions, executive function and self regulation. Dr. Cameron will discuss the developing brain and what research shows related to the impact of stress on this development.


Listen to the podcast of this presentation.

What Harvard's Research Means for Children who are DeafBlind

Dr. Judy Cameron, Professor, University of Pittsburgh and member of the Harvard Center on Child Development, Pittsburg, PA 

Suzanne Zeedyk, Developmental Psychologist, Founder of the Organization connected baby, Dundee, Scotland

Bernadette van den Tillaart, M.Ed., Deafblind Consultant, Ohio State School for the Blind, Columbus, OH

David Brown, Deafblind Consultant, San Francisco, CA

Robbie Blaha, Deafblind Consultant, Texas Deafblind Outreach, Austin, TX

Following Dr. Cameron's presentation deafblind experts Bernadette van den Tillaart, Suzanne Zeedyk, David Brown and Robbie Blaha joined in a plenary discussion about how this information relates to individuals with deafblindness and what it means for us in interacting with these individuals at school, home and in the community.

Panel: Dr. Judy Cameron, Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, Bernadette van den Tillaart, David Brown, and Robbie Blaha








Listen to the podcast of this panel discussion.

Download the PDF file of an edited version of the transcript of this panel and Dr. Cameron's presentation. (Also avaialbe in Regular Print Word version)