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Winter 2002 Table of Contents  
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Mail or e-mail your new classifieds to Jim Durkel at:
TSBVI Outreach, 1100 West 45th St., Austin, TX 78756, or JimDurkel@tsbvi.edu
An up-to-date Statewide Staff Development Calendar is posted on TSBVI's website at www.tsbvi.edu.

Fifth Biannual Usher Syndrome Family Retreat

June 7-9, 2002

Austin, TX

Usher Syndrome is a leading cause of deafblindness. People with Usher Syndrome are usually born with a hearing impairment, then begin losing vision later as a result of retinitis pigmentosa. This pattern of deafblindness creates some unique issues for children with Usher Syndrome and their families.

Families from all over Texas come to this event year after year. The experience of meeting other families and adult mentors with Usher Syndrome, and simply having time together, makes this a very special weekend. Topics of this year's retreat will include recreation and leisure, planning for college and post-secondary life, and strategies for living a rich full life while coping with the challenges of Usher Syndrome. Information will also be shared about the supports and resources available to school-aged children with Usher Syndrome, their siblings, and their parents.

Travel assistance from Texas Deafblind Outreach is available for families interested in attending.

Registration deadline is May 21, 2002.

Registration flyers will be available in March.

Mental Health Issues Associated with Usher Syndrome

A special day of training for Counselors, Teachers, Rehabilitation Professionals and Parents

June 7, 2002

TSBVI Conference Center - Austin, TX

Michael Brenner, currently the Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative for the Helen Keller National Center, will be the featured speaker at this one-day training. Michael brings a unique perspective to this topic. He has Usher Syndrome (Type II). After completing his Masters Degree from Gallaudet University, he established the Mental Health Counseling Program at Deaf Community Services of San Diego, California. Michael was also Coordinator of Research and Training on Mental Health and Deaf-Blindness, under a grant at Alliant University. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of psychosocial issues and deafblindness, and is well-versed in the challenging emotional adjustments caused by dual hearing and vision loss.

The registration fee of $50 includes the cost of lunch and materials.

Checks or agency purchase orders should be made out to Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired.

Registration deadline is May 21, 2002.

Registration flyers will be available in March.

For more information about the retreat or one-day training, or to request a registration flyer,

contact Beth Bible

Phone: (512) 206-9103 or E-mail: bethbible@tsbvi.edu 

Coming in June to various locations around Texas!

Motor, Vision & Travel: Working as a Team to Address the Motor and O&M Issues of the Young Child with a Visual Impairment

Movement and exploration of the environment play important roles in the development of concepts, strategies for interacting with objects, and body awareness. Vision loss can significantly impact these areas. This workshop will share fun ideas for working on orientation and mobility, motor and sensory skills. The importance of teamwork will be emphasized, and roles of the OT, PT and O&M Specialist will be discussed.

This workshop (still in the planning stages) will be offered to families and professionals at a variety of locations around Texas. Look for information on dates and locations in the Spring Edition of SEE/HEAR.

For information, contact Karen Brown

Phone: (512) 206-9314 or

E-mail: karenbrown@tsbvi.edu 

TAER Annual Conference

April 4-6, 2002

Harvey Hotel in Richardson, TX

"Taking Charge of Our Future" is this year's theme for the annual conference of TAER (Texas Chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired).

This conference is for educators, orientation and mobility specialists, rehabilitation teachers and counselors, parents, and consumers. Session topics will include the use of technology, writing IEPs for employment, social skills, orientation and mobility, personnel preparation, and much more.

For more information, contact Neva Fairchild

Phone: (214) 688-7007 or

E-mail: nevaf@dars.state.tx.us 

INSITE Training: A Home-Based Model For Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Who Are Multiply Disabled Sensory Impaired

INSITE is a 6-day training for school and ECI professionals working with families who have children (birth to 5) with multiple impairments, including sensory impairment.

Ft. Worth Austin Silsbee For information, contact Gigi Newton
Phone: (512) 206-9272
E-mail: GigiNewton@tsbvi.edu 

Texas Focus 2002: Looking At Access

June 13-14, 2002

Renaissance Hotel, Houston, TX

This conference is for people involved in the education of children with visual impairments, including multiple impairments and deafblindness.

This year's theme, "Looking At Access," will draw our attention to ways students with visual impairments can be given more and better access to the school curriculum, their community, and the world in general.

For more information, contact Jim Durkel

Phone: (512) 206-9270 or

E-mail: JimDurkel@tsbvi.edu 

TSBVI Outreach Video Conferences

Sharon Nichols and Holly Cooper of TSBVI Outreach continue to offer a number of video conference workshops for the 2001-2002 school year. All broadcasts will be held from 8:30 - 11:00 a.m. (CST). From 10:30 - 11:00 a.m., participants will be able to ask questions about the specific technology discussed that day, as well as any questions about any piece of technology. If possible, participants should bring to the training the piece of technology being discussed.

These workshops can be accessed by anyone who is part of the TxED network (formerly known as ESCONETT), and up to five sites that are not part of that network. To get connected, please contact Scott Wimpress at ScottWimpress@tsbvi.edu.  Questions can be sent to SharonNichols@tsbvi.eduHollyCooper@tsbvi.edu  or JimDurkel@tsbvi.edu

March 27, 2002

Braille Lite, Braille `n Speak & Type `n Speak

April 10, 2002

Home Page Reader and Internet Access

May 9, 2002

Matching Technology to the Student

16th Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute

"Facing the Future: Learning from Legends, Preparing New Leaders"

March 8-10, 2002

Washington, DC - Marriott Hotel

Sponsored by American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

The 2002 JLTLI will explore how current and prospective leaders can learn from the experiences of those who became legends. JLTLI 2002 will address: personnel shortages; enhancing skills through the train-the-trainer model; mentoring; accountability; competency standards; and the promotion of new and longstanding professions in the field of services for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Contact: Gabriella Smith-Coventry

Phone: (212) 502-7654 or E-mail: gsmith@afb.net  Website: http://www.afb.org 

April 5-7, 2002

(Pre-conference day April 4)

International Parent to Parent Conference

In the Spirit of Sharing: Making the Connections

Philadelphia, PA

Sponsored by Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania

Contact: Kathy Brill

Phone: (717) 540-4722

E-mail: ksbrill@aol.com 

Early Bird Conference Fees: $225; $75 (one-day rate)

April 3-7, 2002

Council for Exceptional Children's Annual Convention and Exposition

New York, NY

Division on Visual Impairments

The Council for Exceptional Children

(888) 232-7733 or www.cec.sped.org 

April 8, 2002

Autism in the Visually Impaired Child

Presenter: Terese Pawletko

Region X ESC, Richardson, TX

Contact: Kitra Gray, (972) 348-1580 or

E-mail: grayk@esc10.net 

Handouts from this presenter's session at AER 2000 can be found on the TSBVI website at


May 29-31, 2002

Family Support: Three Days for Spouses, Significant Others, Adult Children of Persons with Deaf-Blindness

Helen Keller National Center - Sands Point, NY

For information and an application, please contact

Dr. Therese Madden Rose at (516) 944-8900 or

E-mail: theresentt@aol.com 

National Federation of the Blind

NFB Convention 2002

July 3 (Seminars)

July 4 through July 9 (Formal Convention)

Location: The Galt House Hotel, Louisville, KY

For information, visit the NFB website at


Phone: (410) 659-9314

E-mail: nfb@nfb.org 

BRAILLE FUNdamentals

BRAILLE FUNdamentals is a comprehensive program for teaching the Braille code. The sequence for introducing the Braille configurations has been organized into fifty-six clusters of letters, numerals, contractions, short forms, punctuation and special signs, with specific clusters devoted to the reading and writing practice of previously learned contractions. Also included in this curriculum are a Pre-Braille Assessment, Braille Checklists and ideas for games.

This program can be used with beginning Braille readers, as well as those readers who need to learn Braille when they are older. In an effort to incorporate current best practices in teaching reading and writing, a wide variety of age-appropriate activities are included at each level. Within each cluster an extensive set of instructional materials is included, in order to provide an adequate amount of ready-made materials.

BRAILLE FUNdamentals is organized into four volumes:

written at four levels:

*Vols. 1 & 2 available now
(Vols. 3 & 4 available later in the year)

BRAILLE FUNdamentals can be ordered as a complete set including all levels, or in individual levels. Braille FUNdamentals is available through the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

For ordering information, please contact

Trudy Ross at (512) 206-9215 or

E-mail: TrudyRoss@tsbvi.edu 

Calendars for Students with Multiple Impairments Including Deafblindness

Calendars for Students with Multiple Impairments Including Deafblindness, by Robbie Blaha with the Texas Deafblind Project, is now available.

This book is written for use with students who need help structuring and organizing their time and activities. It includes information about:

For ordering information, please contact

Trudy Ross at (512) 206-9215 or

E-mail: TrudyRoss@tsbvi.edu 

New Publications from DB-LINK!

Two new publications may be downloaded from the DB-LINK website at http://www.tr.wosc.osshe.edu/DBLINK/products.htm. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents online.

Research to Real Life - This publication, produced by DB-LINK, demonstrates how current research is making a difference in the lives of children who are deafblind. Contact DB-LINK for a free CD-ROM.

Sexuality Education for Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind and Significantly Developmentally Delayed - This book is for parents and professionals. It offers information and instructional guidance for teaching sex education to deafblind students who also have cognitive disabilities. Issues of self-expression related to gender identity, modesty, and appropriate touch are discussed. Specific information is included about menstruation, masturbation, hygiene, health, and sexual abuse. Check with DB-LINK for available hard copies.

Voice: (800) 438.9376, TTY: (800) 854-7013

E-mail: dblink@tr.wou.edu 

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Last Revision: July 30, 2002