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January 23-25, 2015 Training

Starting at 6:30 PM Friday Evening and Ending at 12:00 Noon on Sunday

Holiday Inn Austin Midtown

Austin, Texas

Register now!  Register now!   

In partnership with the DARS Division of Blind Services, the TSBVI Outreach Program is conducting a training series (4 weekends in total) for selected family members of children with a visual impairment including those with additional disabilities. This training has been developed to support family members in sharpening their leadership and mentoring skills so that they can have a strong voice in the decisions being made about services and supports for children with visual impairments.  As a participant of the Personal Family Leadership Series, you will have the opportunity to learn more about your child, yourself and your community.

Our goal is for the graduates of the Personal Family Leadership Series to use the skills and tools they develop in the training to impact services and supports for children with visual impairments in their local communities.  

The themes are:

Know yourself: Become more confident in maintaining balance with all that you do as a parent, telling your story, partnering effectively, and honing your family leadership skills.  

Know your child:  Become more knowledgeable about the educational system, your child’s needs and how to share information with others.  

Know your community:  Become leaders through learning how to access and impact services in your local community.  

Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family- Balancing family responsibilities and leadership activities is hard. Maintaining that balance is essential in order to be an effective leader and avoid burnout. Throughout the training, you will receive information and individual support in order to develop strategies that will help you take care of your personal needs while being a leader.

Hands-on Participation - In order to give some practical experience, participants will be asked to complete assignments between training sessions. Some examples are:  working with your child on a daily living skill, reading an article to discuss at the next training and finding specific resources in your community.  

This training is a series of four weekends that build on each other. Because of this, you need to attend all four weekends. Exceptions can be discussed individually.    


Training dates for the series:  

  1. January 23-25, 2015 - Learn the power of telling your story; Gain knowledge of employment options and volunteer opportunities for your child; Discover different communication styles; Evaluate your child’s independent living skills; Participate in simulation activities.
  2. March 6-8, 2015 - Turn assessments into IEP goals; Understanding your ARD documents and your child’s unique learning needs; Identify quality of life issues for your child; Learn about leadership and volunteer opportunities available in the community; Access local, state and national resources and websites; Gain knowledge of family organizations.  
  3. April 24-26, 2015 – Discover your advocacy and self-determination skills; Understand the unique learning needs of students with visual impairments and the Expanded Core Curriculum; Introduction of interest-based problem solving and practice using active listening techniques; Learn about Medicaid Waiver programs and links to medical information and the Legal Framework.  
  4. May 15-17, 2015 – Examine quality programs and best practices; Become a Supporting Parent and mentor others; Share future leadership goals; Graduation!  

Location and Lodging

This training will be held in Austin at the Holiday Inn Midtown located at 6000 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752. Telephone is 512-451575. Participants will also be lodged at the hotel during the training.  Once you are registered, please make your hotel reservationsmake your hotel reservations.  We will cover the cost of the room.  However, you will need a credit card to be able pay for your own incidental costs such as movie rentals, room service, etc.  Learn more about the hotel.


There is no cost to participants for this training. Travel expenses will be shared between DARS Division for Blind Services and TSBVI Outreach on an individual basis.  We will contact you once you are registered to make sure what your travel arrangements are and to plan with you.  

To register go to   You may have to set up an account the first time you register by selecting "My Account" link in the yellow navigation box on the left of this page.  Once you have an account and/or are signed in to that account, you simple go to the Calendar of Sessions, look on the first date of the event and click on the link.  You will be walked through the remaining steps of the registration process.  You will need to register for each weekend of the series.  

Please note that when you check out during the registration process you will see a fee of $300.  This amount will be billed to DARS-DBS or TSBVI and you will not be held responsible for payment.

Child Care

You are welcome to bring your childcare provider with you; however, there is no childcare on-site.  We can reimburse the cost of childcare you arrange in your home while you are at this training.