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Winter 2004 Table of Contents
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Families of Children with Deafblindness SPARKLE

Project SPARKLE (Supporting Parent Access to Resources, Knowledge, Linkages, and Education) through funding as a Model Demonstration Project for Children With Disabilities has developed a new model of individualized learning for parents of children and youth who are deafblind. This model is unique because it provides information, training, resources, and networking that parents can access in their homes at any time using DVD technology combined with the Internet.

Deafblindness is a low-incidence disability that results in complex needs that most professionals and systems are not prepared to address. Parents of these children are the major factor in their lives and must be especially well prepared to fulfill their critical role in the development and education of their children. Information and training is traditionally available through workshops, conferences, and parent retreats. Yet, many parents are unable to travel to these activities, and much of the information may not be specifically relevant to their child.

The SPARKLE model is the answer for these parents, because it overcomes many training barriers. Parents who participate in this Project view the DVD training program, develop a child profile that individualizes the information to their children, are linked to multiple resources, and network with other parents of children who are deafblind _ all this from their homes. Project SPARKLE has proven to be a successful model with 61 families in Utah, Texas, Georgia, and Minnesota. It is now ready to be expanded to additional families in Utah, Texas, Georgia, and Minnesota and to families in new states.

If you are a Texas family with a child who has vision and hearing loss in combination and are interested in participating in this unique training option, please contact Edgenie Bellah, Family Support Specialist with Texas Deafblind Outreach, at 512-206-9423 or email her at <edgeniebellah@tsbvi.edu>.

American Council of the Blind Scholarships On-line

ACB scholarship applications are now available for on-line processing. For the main web page at <http://www.acb.org/>, click on the link AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND 2004 Scholarship Application and Information to begin the application process. Each year, the ACB provides significant student scholarships for all facets of educational endeavor, encompassing everything from vocational to postgraduate academic endeavor. In 2003, ACB awarded $38,850.00 in direct scholarships and sponsored recipients as attendees to our national convention in Pittsburgh, PA. Please let students and those who are in touch with students know of the beginning of ACB's 2004 student scholarship availability. If you need in-person assistance in addition to what is offered on the website, please contact Terry Pacheco in the ACB National Office at (800) 424-8666.

New on the TSBVI Website

Have you ever wondered about the process of admission used to place a child at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired during the regular school year? Now you can get more information about that process on line by going to <http://www.tsbvi.edu/school/comp/primer.htm> to read "A Primer on Admissions to TSBVI." Are you interested in applying for your student to attend one of the TSBVI summer school programs? Summer school program descriptions and applications may be downloaded by going to <http://tsbvi.edu/school/special/summer.htm>. You may also be interested in learning about the Special Programs being offer this year. Go to <http://www.tsbvi.edu/school/special/short-classes.htm>.

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Last Revision: September 1, 2010