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SEE/HEAR

Winter 2001 Volume 6, No. 1


KATE'S CORNER

It's a new millennium, and I am acutely aware of changes occurring all around me. Some are good, some not so good, and some are both. People retiring from successful careers to have more time to enjoy life, is a good thing. When the person retiring has been a mentor and constant star in your constellation, the change feels bad. Annie Wade (parent, TCB caseworker, and former Outreach Family Specialist) has retired. I have mixed feelings about this. She is taking off on the next big adventure in her life. When I think of her leaving us on our own, I become incredibly upset about this change. Then I tell myself, "If Iplay my cards right, I can still talk her into a bit of work here and there." Annie, I know I speak for all of the Outreach staff, TCB staff, and the educators and families you have served, when I wish you the very best in your next phase. I hope you really kick back and relax. But if you get bored, call me.

Another change that has taken place is shifting the responsibility for presenting the "Through Your Child's Eyes" workshop from Outreach staff to TCB, ESC, and others in the regional and local setting. This change began with a one-day workshop which took place at TSBVI in December using a train-the-trainers model . Approximately half of the regional education service center areas were represented by staff from the ESCs, TCB, and in one region, from the ECI program. Jean and I were delighted with the response to this change and feel good about turning "our baby" over to such dedicated and competent presenters. Although many of the participants have not been presenters at this workshop in the past, many of them have served as hosts for this workshop in their regions.

With a little more time on our hands, since "Through Your Child's Eyes" will be handled regionally, Jean and I are working on developing two new workshops that we hope to begin taking out on the road later in 2001 or early in 2002. One of these workshops will be targeting parents of children with deafblindness and focus on the tactile sense. The other of these workshops will be on IDEA and vision specific SBOE rules. More information about these workshops will be shared in future editions of SEE/HEAR.

Editor's note: The first three articles (Fun for All Ages, A Proud Mom, A Proud Athlete) that follow are written by parents and a student who attended the Second Annual Blind and Visually Impaired Sports Extravaganza which took place in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in October, 2000. This event was organized by Region 10 Education Service Center and the major sponsors included the Lions International District 2-X1, Irving ISD, and Dr. Pepper. It was held at the Nimitz High School in Irving, Texas for individuals from all over Texas. This event included competitive events for school age students such as 25, 50, and 100 meter dashes, long jump competitions, shot put and soft ball throw, 25 meter walk, wheelchair obstacle course, archery, beep ball, and goal ball. For infants and toddlers there were a variety of structured activities such as a parent-child obstacle course. Participants had an opportunity to vie for first, second, and third place medals in each event, but all participants received ribbons for participating.

Region 10 staff initiated the first Sports Extravaganza in response to the need for increased emphasis on compensatory skills development for blind and visually impaired children and youth. While improved academic performance may appear to be the major goal of compensatory skills development, the Sports Extravaganza is aimed at lowering the barriers visually impaired youngsters encounter in physical activities and athletic events. Limited vision prevents their physical imitation of the movements of others. This frequently delays their motor development, resulting in a lack of coordination and a feeling of discomfort in physical activity. Avoidance of physical fitness activities and the choice of inactive leisure activities is a natural consequence. If you or your child is interested in the Sports Extravaganza, contact Kitra Gray at Education Service Center Region 10 in Richardson at (972) 348-1580.


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