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Handsmatter Workshop

hands signing         On February 21, 2013 a HANDSMATTER workshop took place with deafblind students and their interveners and teachers at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin. The workshop was led by the European artist Guido Dettoni. Handsmatter at TSBVI Video.Captions are available in: English – Transcripts:  English – Spanish – Italian Please share your comments and interpretations on the YouTube videos. The artist also facilitated the Handsmatter workshops with participants at the Texas Symposium on Deafblindness in Austin, TX on February 22-23, 2013. An unexpected experience with 8 hands together evolved. 8 HANDS Video Please share your comments and interpretations on the YouTube videos. Thanks to the support of TSBVI, NESHER Stichting and FESOCE (Spanish Deafblindness Federation). Previously Guido Dettoni had performed with APSOCECAT the first Handsmatter workshop oriented to this community. Out of this experience arose a tactile symbol for Deafblindness, the DEAFBLINDSHAPE. For...
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Deaf-Blind Perspectives Newsletter

The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness puts out a newsletter called Deaf-Blind Perspectives twice a year with fabulous information.  This is a great way to hear about what is going on across the nation - and often enough describes Texas initiatives, too!  In this issue is a tribute to our own, much missed Jim Durkel.   The current issue of Deaf-Blind Perspectives is available online In This Issue  Moving Forward Together D. Jay Gense One Dad’s Nuts and Bolts of Advocacy on the State Level Jamey McVicker Improving Connections among Professionals in Deaf-Blind Education Jon Harding NCDB Plans for A New Website Gail Leslie Early Identification and Referral: Partnerships in Action Heather Herbster Reflections from the Field Kathee Scoggin Moving Forward with Intervener Services Recommendations Peggy Malloy “I Can Connect!” Betsy McGinnity Remembering Colleagues Who Passed Away in 2011–2012
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Southeast Family Deafblind Transition Institute

Southeast Region Transition Institute is designed for deafblind students in their teens preparing to transition from high school to college or employment. This conference gives students the knowledge they need to know how to access their dreams for the future. Jenny Lace Education Consultant, Texas Deafblind Project Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired Deafblind Outreach
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"Sign with Your Child" Video Series

Parents and extended families of children with deafblindness often ask where they can go to learn sign language. There are many options, which begin with their school district, regional day school program for the deaf, community colleges and churches.  Recently I learned of this on-line resource that can be very helpful with basic sign language.   Challenge Discovery Projects, a Virginia-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, provides school-based and community programs for youth that address bullying, violence, substance abuse and emotional health. In addition, Challenge Discovery Projects offers emotional health and substance abuse counseling to the deaf and hard of hearing.  The Parent Child Advocate Program (PCA), part of Challenge Discovery Projects, addresses the multiple needs of families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing by offering sign language skill development, providing psychosocial education and facilitating access to community resources. The PCA program advocates early intervention in teaching social and communication...
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High Touch and Low Incidence - What I have learned from the Deafblind Census

In a conversation I had with Jay Gense, director of the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB), he estimated the incidence of deafblindness for children and youth birth to 22 years old in the United States is around .01%. The incidence in Texas is slightly higher at about .017%.  This means that out of the 4 million plus students in public education in Texas, around 750 are identified as having both hearing and vision problems.  Here is a different perspective:  4 million miles will take you around the Earth at the equator 161 times.  It is almost exactly a 750 mile drive from Houston to El Paso.  Quite a difference (And you thought Texas was so big!). One of the lessons I have learned from looking at the Deafblind Census is that no two of the students are alike.  There may be 79 students who are considered deafblind as the result of...
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Teacher of the Deafblind (TDB) Pilot Program

There is a movement afoot in the world of deafblind education..... Movement afoot you say?!?!?  That's A Big Yes Pardner.... TSBVI Outreach is currently partnering with the Region 4 Education Service Center on a Teacher of the Deafblind (TDB) Pilot program. The Pilot program is just starting on it's first year of a two year cycle. Select teachers and administrators from the Cy-Fair Regional Day School for the Deaf, Katy ISD, and TSBVI's Comprehensive Programs are participating. Our goal is to start small with this group, define the role of a TDB, establish a great program for technical assistance, and grow it into a sustainable model that is recognized on a state and national level. Another really great aspect of this program is that we are able to work with Texas Tech, who has online, graduate level, coursework in deafblindness. We are encouraging our Pilot TDB's to enroll and reap the...
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