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A weekly online discussion for families only!

Texas Families together logo - the feet of an adult and two children are standing next to one another

Families with children who are visually impaired or deafblind, let’s gather during this COVID-19 time! Join for an hour of sharing, connecting, and encouraging as only families can do with each other. This is YOUR time, so settle your kiddos in an activity where they can be safely entertained, grab a snack and a drink, and give yourself this hour!

One family member shared…

The group meetings have meant a great deal to me. They have allowed me to voice my concerns about distance learning in a safe, caring and respectable environment. It's always nice to know that there are others in the same boat. It has been helpful to talk with professionals about what we are going through. It finally gave me the approval to stop being so hard on myself and to take some time to just breathe and to see the good in every day.

Session Information

Participants: Exclusively for adult family members with children and adults who are visually impaired or deafblind. 

We appreciate professionals honoring this families-only event. To learn more about current training opportunities for both families and professionals, please visit

SUMMER Dates & Times: Tuesdays - June 2 through July 28, 2020

One-Hour Sessions at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 6:00 PM (Central Time)

We are excited to offer a topic-based focus at our 3:00 PM session. Please find our topics below, and join us if you’d like to share!

June 23: O&M Within Family Life

June 30: Dealing with Negative Comments

July 7: Social & Community Roles and Building Relationships

July 14: Helping Your Child Find New Interests

July 21: Family Resources

July 28: Back to School

Captioning and sign language interpretation are available upon request. 

To request captioning and sign language interpretation for any of the three weekly meetings, please complete the online request form by 2:00 pm on the Thursday before the gathering.

Use this form to request accessibility services.

New to Zoom and Want Support? We’re opening the Zoom Room 15 minutes early so we can help you, answer questions about Zoom, and let you practice all the features!  Please email Steven Landry during this time if you need help joining the meeting.

Zoom link for Texas Families Together:

Telephone only:

    US: +1 971 247 1195

    Meeting ID: 5122069219 

Read more information about joining Zoom by telephone.

Notes on using Zoom

You do not need to pre-register for these discussions, but you do have to sign in using your Zoom account.  If you do not have a Zoom account, you can set it up here.

TSBVI Outreach Zoom Security

TSBVI Outreach is aware of current concerns with the Zoom videoconferencing platform, and we are following recommended practices to prevent unauthorized users from disrupting the events that we host in Zoom. To date, we have not had any adverse incidents during our webinars or the Texas Families Together discussions.

TSBVI Outreach takes the following precautions to keep our meetings safe:

Authenticated Users - all participants must be logged into a Zoom account, or verified through a Google or Facebook account. Requiring sign-ins allows us to hold participants accountable for their actions in the meeting. Please create a free Zoom account if you do not already have one.

Waiting Room - before the session starts, all participants must log into a waiting room. The waiting room allows us to be aware of who is attending the meeting and helps prevent disruption.

Recordings - We do not record the Texas Families Together meetings.

Symposium Date: March 4th – 6th, 2021

Location: Austin Marriott North in Round Rock, Texas.

If you are interested in presenting at the 2021 Texas Deafblind Education Symposium, then please feel free to fill out our Google form and tell us about your proposed session(s)!

Please note that your submission is not approved or set in stone once you click submit. (You may edit and revise your response at any time if needed.) Also, know that we may contact you with some of our own suggestions about your ideas.

Most importantly, be aware that your submission should give us a very clear idea of what you would like to present on at the symposium.

Before beginning, you will need to have the following prepared:

  • Session Title(s)
  • Description(s)
  • Learning Objective(s)

** You can enter up to 4 proposed sessions with the form linked below.

Note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, there is a possibility that some (or even all) of our symposium could go online.

Currently, we are planning on having it as a face to face event at our designated hotel in March of 2021—so please don't limit your ideas based on the potential forum. However, do let us know if your presentation is something that could be delivered remotely via Zoom.

Visit the link below to make your submission! A member of the Texas Deafblind Project will be in touch with you in the near future to discuss your proposed session(s).


Los siguientes recursos fueron compilados por el Proyecto de Sordo ceguera de Texas para ser compartido con las familias en las reuniones anuales del programa de educación individualizada de su hijo (a menudo referida como reuniones ARD). Esta información se actualizó en noviembre de 2017. Puede descargar este documento en un archivo Word o PDF. También está disponible en inglés.

Apoyos Estatales:

Proyecto para Sordociegos de Texas, Escuela de Texas para Ciegos y Discapacitados Visuales:

Información de contacto del especialista de ESC DeafBlind:

Servicio Estatal para Individuos con Impedimento Visual/Ceguera:

Programa de Descubrimiento y Desarrollo Vocacional para Niños Ciegos (Comisión de Salud y Servicios Humanos):

Programa de Transición (Texas Workforce Commission): rehabilitation-youth-students

Escuela de Texas para la Educación de Sordos Centro de Recursos sobre la Sordera:

Programas de Extensión de Texas:

Programa de Exención de Medicaid de Incapacidades Múltiples de Sordos-Ciegos:

Comparaciones del Programa de Cuidado a Largo Plazo:


(comunicación en tecnología y capacitación gratuita para mantenerse conectado con la familia y amistades):

Texas Project Primer sitio web:

Navegue por el sitio web de Life Texas:

Parent Companion - el sitio web de los primeros cinco años:

Texas Deafblind Child Count:

IEP Quality Indicators:

Apoyos Nacionales (Programas financiados por el gobierno federal):

Centro Nacional de Sordo-Ceguera Sitio web:


Asuntos Familiares página web:

Ojalá tuviera ... folleto y video:

Centro Nacional Helen Keller

Website Nacional:

Represente Regional (TX, AR, LA, NM, OK):

Molly Sinanan, S., ,Voice: 516.393.7997, VP: 512.394.8334

Personal cualificado para personas con discapacidad auditiva:

Maestros para Estudiantes con Sordera:

Apoyos Individualizados (Interventores, Proveedores de Servicios de Apoyo e Intérpretes para personas con Sordera):

Manos Abiertas Acceso Abierto Módulos de aprendizaje Servicios de Interventor:

Interventores en el hogar y la comunidad – Un Articulo imperativo Insuficientemente reconocido:

Interventores y Niños quienes están Sordo Ciegos sitio web:

La guía familiar para interventores – Bajar el folleto:

Determinar la necesidad de un Interventor en Entornos Educativos en Texas: in-educational-settings-in-texas

Maestros de Estudiantes con Impedimento Visual:

Maestros de Estudiantes que están Sordos/Dificultades Auditivas:

Especialistas en Orientación & Movilidad:

Comunicación Y Alfabetización:

Comunicación para niños con Sordera o Discapacidades Visuales:

Alfabetización para niños con visión combinada y pérdida auditiva:

Organizaciones de Familia:

Conozca a sus organizaciones familiares: organizations

Vídeo de sensibilización para personas sordas de NFADB:

Querida familia,

Mi nombre es Edgenie Bellah y yo soy la especialista en Participación de Familia para el Proyecto de SordoCeguera de Texas. Déjeme decirle un poco sobre nuestro proyecto y cómo podemos asociarnos con usted. Cualquier pérdida de audición y visión combinada que limita significativamente la capacidad de una persona para obtener información del entorno puede considerarse SordoCeguera. Los niños con SordoCeguera pueden requerir modificaciones especializadas y apoyo con el fin de aprender, comunicarse y relacionarse con el mundo.

El Proyecto de SordoCeguera de Texas es un subsidio con fondos federales cuya misión es apoyar a los niños con pérdida de la audición y visión combinada (desde el nacimiento hasta los 22 años) y a sus familias. Ofrecemos apoyo, información y capacitación en todo el estado. Para aprender más acerca de nuestro proyecto, por favor visítenos en

En nuestra página de participación de la familia, he incluido algunos de mis recursos favoritos y espero que usted los encuentre útiles. Usted los puede encontrar en  Estoy encantada de proporcionarle más, si usted está interesado.

Conozca las organizaciones familiares en español

Conozca las organizaciones familares en inglés en inglés

Algunas de las maneras en que puedo ayudarle incluyen:
• Conversaciones sobre asuntos familiares, participación en la comunidad de su hijo, 

   programa de la escuela, y apoyos relacionados.
• Proporcionar capacitación para su familia.
• Ayudarle a acceder a la asistencia financiera para gastos de viaje para participar en las

• Explora Entrenamiento en Liderazgo Familiar.
• Ayuda a aprender más sobre la educación especial, las organizaciones familiares, exenciones de Medicaid, los recursos para la transición a la edad adulta, y otras necesidades.

Conéctese con nosotros en 
• Asegúrese de que tengamos su información de contacto preferida
• Asegurese de ser añadido a nuestra lista de correo para recibir noticias y oportunidades de interés  para su familia.
• Completar una encuesta corta de 5 minutos acerca de sus servicios actuales O simplemente puede enviarnos por correo la tarjeta adjunta  en el sobre con su dirección.

Estoy disponible a tan sólo una llamada telefónica o correo electrónico de distancia! Por favor, siéntase libre de contactarme en cualquier momento. No hay duda demasiado grande o demasiada pequeña. Espero poder conectarme con usted pronto!

Edgenie Bellah,
Especialista de Participación Familiar
(512) 206-9423 |


An adult touches the arm of a toddler.

Dear Family,

My name is Edgenie Bellah and I am the Family Engagement Specialist for the Texas DeafBlind Project.  Let me tell you a little about our project and how we can partner with you. 

Any combined hearing and vision loss that significantly limits a person’s ability to get information from the environment can be considered DeafBlindness. Children with DeafBlindness may benefit from specialized modifications and supports in order to learn, communicate, and interact with the world.

The Texas DeafBlind Project is a federally funded grant whose mission is to support children with a combined vision and hearing loss (birth through age 22) and their families. We offer free support, information, and training statewide. To learn more about our Project, please visit us at

On our family engagement page, I’ve included some of my favorite resources and hope that you find them helpful. You can find them at  I am happy to provide you with more, if you are interested.

Meet Your Texas Family Organizations (Spanish)

Meet Your Texas Family Organizations (English)

Some of the ways I can assist you include:

  • Conversations about family matters, your child's community involvement, school program, and related supports.
  • Provide training for your family.
  • Help you access financial assistance for travel costs to participate in conferences.
  • Explore training opportunities.
  • Help you learn more about special education, family organizations, Medicaid waivers, resources for transition to adulthood, and other needs.

Please connect with us at to:

  • Make sure we have your preferred contact information
  • Get added to our mailing list for news and opportunities of interest to your family.
  • Complete a short 5-minute survey about your current services

Or you can simply mail the enclosed card back to us using the self-addressed envelope.

I am just a phone call or e-mail away!  Please feel free to contact me anytime.  There is no question too big or too small.  I look forward to connecting with you soon!

Edgenie Bellah,

Family Engagement Specialist

(512) 206-9423 |

Let’s Talk About:  TSBVI Outreach Programs school consultations


What is a school/ECl consultation?

A school consultation is a personal visit to your program.  School consultation can help you design more successful programming for an individual student.  We follow a collaborative process by working with the student’s entire team.

At district/ECI program request, and in collaboration with the regional Education Service Center (ESC) consultants, Outreach staff come visit classrooms, ECI programs, job/community placements, and homes to offer our assistance in developing appropriate programs for your VI and DB students. 

We are also available to provide consultation to programs serving transition-aged individuals who are blind or DeafBlind and who are not currently being served by a school.

Why do you offer school consultations?

Students with visual impairment or DeafBlindness are unique. It is not possible for any one professional to know everything about all the many possible ways in which vision (or vision and hearing) loss impact a particular child’s learning.  We pair our expertise with your team’s deep knowledge of your student to help figure out and implement effective educational practices. 

How can I request a school consultation?

Go to the TSBVI website, under Outreach, and on the left hand side you’ll see the Request a Service tab.  School consultation requests are found there.  We do suggest that you connect with the VI and/or DB specialist at your regional Education Service Center prior to inviting us for a consultation as they are much closer and often can offer assistance in a timely manner.   We will also contact them prior to finalizing our visit planning so they can help during our visit and help provide follow through afterward.

What preparations will occur prior to the visit?

The Outreach team reviews requests for training and consultation on a weekly basis. We will assign an Outreach staff member to your referral. This person will get in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss your request, answer any questions and determine a date for the visit. We will request specific documentation (which will be indicated in the “Consultation Preparation Checklist”) and may also ask the educational team and/or parents to gather additional data using specific tools. This will help the OTR staff to make better use of time during the consult. We will also call the family and talk with team members before we come so we can come prepared. 

What do you do during the visit?

A consultation visit typically includes a visit at the family home, and an observation period at school of as much of a typical day as possible given travel constraints.  At some point, usually at the end of the observation day, a gathering is held. The family, principal, classroom teacher, teaching assistants, support staff, VI/O&M professionals and all other interested parties are invited to attend this informal exit meeting.  This is a time for asking questions, sharing ideas, and developing plans. 

What can we expect after a school consultation?

After our visit, and depending upon the request, you will receive a written report outlining our observations and making recommendations for program change.   Ideas from the informal exit meeting are incorporated into this report. The report can offer a guideline for developing IEPs or suggest program modifications, alternate curricula or assessment, or respond to specific questions about this child’s unique needs.  At times we will arrange a return visit and/or web-based meetings to help the team implement these recommendations and/or to tweak the plan.

What does it cost?

The Outreach Programs cover salary costs for TSBVI staff.  We ask for district help with paying all OR ANY PART of our travel costs so the Outreach Program will be able to maintain its commitment to local programs statewide.  In many regions, the Education Service Center consultants have been able to help support these costs.  Even if a local district or an ESC is unable to contribute funding for travel, as long as the TSBVI Outreach Programs has available funds, we will be able to come.


If you have any questions, please contact Outreach Director, Kate Borg, at  or by calling 512-206-9242.  

All of our events (webinars, workshops and conferences) require a registration in our new online system.  Follow the links for each separate event or go to and view the Calendar of Sessions.  You will need to create an account the first time you enter the site.  If there is a fee for the registration, you will be asked for a PO or check number during registration.  If you do not have the number at the time of registration, simply enter 0000 in that box.  You can send in payment or bring it with you to the event.  You may also submit payment using a credit card; your card will be charged immediately on registration.

Register for any TSBVI Outreach Training Event (Webinar, Workshop or Conference)

Consultation Evaluation: This evaluation form contains questions about the onsite consultation you received from the Outreach Programs. 

The results of this form will be reviewed by Kate Borg, TSBVI Director of Outreach Programs.

Kate's email address:

Thank you for sharing your experience with us!


Evaluacíon de Consulta: Esta forma de evaluación contiene preguntas sobre la consulta en el sitio que ha recibido de los Programas de Alcance a la comunidad. 

Los resultados de este formulario serán revisados ​​por Kate Borg, Director de Programas de Extensión de TSBVI.

Dirección de correo electrónico de Kate:

¡Gracias por compartir su experiencia con nosotros!

The Texas Education Agency (TEA), Division of Special Education, is required to report annually on individuals, 0-21 years of age, who are DeafBlind in Texas. This report requires a different type of information than the Child Count data mandated under IDEA. Through the DeafBlind Child Count, the Texas Education Agency must annually report:

  • the number of children who meet the criteria for being reported on the DeafBlind Child Count served by age, severity, sex, and nature of DeafBlindness; and
  • the types of services provided and the setting in which the services are provided.

The DeafBlind Child Count provides information that is used for regional and statewide planning to develop funding and appropriate services for infants, children, and youth who are DeafBlind. This child count report is more inclusive and extensive than the Child Count report done at the end of October that is required under the IDEA. It is important to point out that the federal definition of DeafBlindness is a functional definition which goes beyond medical and clinical determination of severity of two major sensory deficits and focuses on evidence of need for modification of special education practice.

The data needed should reflect the number of students with a visual impairment who were in the school district as of January 2, 2020, or the first day the district resumed following the winter holiday. Deadline to complete registration is January 31, 2020.   Information on how to complete the count is provided in the video posted below.

Please note the following regarding DeafBlind student being counted on both the VI Registration and the DeafBlind Child Count:

  • Every student who is considered DeafBlind (or has IDEA eligibility for both AI and VI) on the VI Registration should be included on the DeafBlind Child Count.  
  • And, every student who is included on the DeafBlind Child Count should also be included on the Registration of Students in Texas with Visual Impairments.

Letter from OSERS

The Office of Special Educations and Rehabilitation Services at the Department of Education have provided the following guidance document which you may download in a PDF File.

Questions About Eligibility:

For information regarding eligibility, and other frequently asked questions regarding this count, please refer to our informative FAQ video posted below.  You may also reference the document "Let's Talk DeafBlind Eligibility" linked below.  These FAQ's and their answers are here to help you in determining if a student should be placed on the DeafBlind Child Count.  Word or PDF

Downloads: Audio (mp3) Handout (pdf) Transcript (txt)

Superintendent Signatures

  • The Superintendent signatures will be collected electronically.
  • At the end of the registration period, they will be notified by email that their page is open and given a password to access their district data.
  • Once notified, they will have until February 17th, 2020 to certify their district's information. No paperwork will need to be submitted.

New or Noteworthy for the Texas DeafBlind Child Count:

  • NEW: In the DeafBlind Child Count, the question about whether the student has an intervener has been modified. It was confusing to those who have a designated paraprofessional who may or may not be recognized as an intervener. The required question now will ask: Does the student have a designated paraprofessional/intervener? The answers will allow you to note either that:

1). the student does not have a designated support person, or

2). the student has a designated paraprofessional who is NOT certified as an intervener through NICE (National Intervener Certification E-Portfolio System) or NRCP (National Resource Center for Paraeducators).

3).the student does have a designated intervener who has been certified through national organizations.

  • NEW:  The names and email addresses for both the TVI and the TDHH from last year will be cleared out. Please be sure to update this information or the system will prevent you from closing out.  TVI is required, but the TDHH is not.
  • NEW:  The student grade level will be be cleared out.  Please be sure to update this information of the system will prevent you from closing out.
  • NOTEWORTHY: The VI and Section 504 Registrations have a pale yellow background, while the Texas DeafBlind Child Count has a pale blue background. The Superintendent login is found on the Texas DeafBlind Child Count login page.
  • NOTEWORTHY: Search features will help you to find students even if there is a number or letter transposed. Also, there is a link in the top left of each application so that you can easily switch between the Annual VI Registration and the Texas DeafBlind Child Count. All students on the Texas DeafBlind Child Count are also entered in the Registration of Students with Visual Impairment, so you will be reminded to enter your students in both counts.
  • NOTEWORTHY: Statewide assessments are listed for you. If your student took the STAAR alt 2, you will be asked to indicate whether it was scored or NAAR (no authentic academic response)
  • NOTEWORTHY: Please remember that parent addresses change often. Please double check that you are providing a current address.

Consent for Release of Confidential Information

Each student who is registered as a student in Texas with a visual impairment, a student with DeafBlindness or a student with a visual impairment under Section 504 must have consent for sharing that information with other agencies. The consent form allows us to share their information for funding and resources available from American Printing House for the Blind, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), Blind Children's Program; HHSC Early  Intervention program; Texas Workforce Commission; regional Education Service Centers; and other agencies. It is important that the Consent for Release of Confidential Information form  is signed annually and maintained in the student folder. (English VersionSpanish Version, and Vietnamese Version

Please fax this roster to Brian Sobeck at 512-206-9320 or email to  .  

Please make sure to write legibly.

Roster in Word

 Sign-in Roster in PDF