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SymposiumLogo2019 Texas DeafBlind Symposium: Resonance

February 22-23, 2019

Austin, TX


The presentation of awards to individuals whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the field of deafblindness and/or who have contributed to improving the lives of Texans with deafblindness is one of the highlights of the Texas Symposium on DeafBlindness.   

With our theme of "Resonance" in mind the following family members, paraprofessionals and professionals were nominated because they exhibit those qualities of developing security and attachment for early communicators and who demonstrate the skills of building relationships that support and enhance the lives of individuals with DeafBlindness. Please take time to congratulate these individuals!

JacquelineIzaguirreTrail Blazer Award

This award is given to a family member(s) who has, through their advocacy or efforts on behalf of their family member with DeafBlindness, blazed a trail that has made it easier for other families who follow. This year’s recipient is Jacqueline Izaguirre from Harker Heights, Texas.

Jacqueline, the proud mother of Patsy and her two brothers, likes to say that she "has been following Patsy's lead for 31 years." In 1990 she joined DBMAT, and a year later worked with staff at the Regional Day School for the Deaf to obtain one of the first classroom interveners in Texas for Patsy. As a member of the National Coalition for DeafBlind she served as an advocate in Austin and Washington D.C. seeking to have intervener services written into law. She has also served on the NFADB board, and is a founding member and president of the DeafBlind Camp of Texas.


RustyAlfordRobbie Blaha Intervener Award

This award is given to an intervener who has demonstrated excellence in their role of support to a child with DeafBlindness within the educational setting and whose efforts have contributed to the success of the intervener model in Texas. This year’s recipient is Rusty Alford from Cypress-Fairbanks, Texas.

Rusty has been serving in the educational field for nearly twelve years. He served for one year as a paraprofessional and another six years as a certified interpreter. For the past five years Rusty has served as an intervenor with Cy-Fair ISD. According to Rusty, despite his various experiences working in the educational field, "the last 5 have been my favorite, working alongside individuals who are DeafBlind."


AneishaWaugh1Community Intervener Award

This is the first time this award is being presented.  It is given to an intervener working outside of the educational setting who demonstrates excellence in their role of support to an individual with DeafBlindness and whose efforts have contributed to the success of the intervener model in Texas. This year’s recipient is Aneisha Waugh from Spring, Texas.

Aneisha has been working with individuals who are DeafBind for over 14 years. Her passion for work in the field of DeafBlindness led her to complete the coursework from Utah State University where she received the national intervener credential.  Aneisha is proud to be a certified intervener and says of her work with individuals who are DeafBlind, "I love working with both adults and children who are Deafblind. I enjoy building a bridge for communication, helping them gain access to environmental information, and developing a trustful interactive relationship with them."


KayceeBennettMarty Murrell Excellence in Education Award

This award is given to a professional in education who has made a long-term commitment to excellence in education for Texas students with DeafBlindness. This year’s award is given to Kaycee Bennett from Arlington, Texas.

Kaycee Bennett currently serves as Auditory Impairment Specialist and Teacher for Students with DeafBlindness in Northwest ISD. Her background in Deaf Education led her to support her passion of working with students with DeafBlindness and has given her a unique perspective in the field.  She loves creating better programming access and communication for these students and the staff supporting them. Her formal education in DeafBlindness has taught her many things, but she has learned the most from her students and their families!


McCormickAnn Silverrain Award

This award is given to any individual who has made an extraordinary commitment to improving the lives of individuals with DeafBlindness in Texas. This year’s award is presented to Marina McCormick from Houston, Texas.

Marina McCormick, Region 4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD) Coordinator, has served in education for 18 years.  Marina has supported students with DeafBlindness both as a teacher of the deaf and as a special education administrator.  She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston where her research focuses on statewide professional learning efforts and the potential impact on teachers’ confidence for supporting students with DeafBlindness.