Main content

Alert message


2020 Texas Focus Conference: 

February 27 - 29, 2020
Hyatt Regency North Houston
Houston, Texas 

Join us for Texas Focus 2020 as we explore tools and strategies to empower all children with visual impairments. Sessions will focus on ways to provide children with greater voice, meaningful options, and increased participation in their lives.

Pre-conference Day - February 27, 2020

We begin with a special half-day pre-conference.  Our speakers will present on various topics regarding fine arts. Sessions will include: Music for Self-Expression and Self-Advocacy, Creating with Blind Abandon: Creating an Accessible Art Program for Visually Impaired Students, and Accessing the Arts: Teaching Self-Determination through Advocacy 

Session Descriptions for the Pre-conference can be found at our Texas Focus Agenda Page.

Main Conference - February 28-29, 2020

The main conference event takes place beginning the morning of February 28th and continues through February 29th at the Hyatt Regency North Houston.  Our list of presenters includes:

  • Valerie Alvarez, Blindness Training Coordinator with Texas Workforce Commission
  • Anne L. Corn, Ed.D.
  • Kate Borg, TSBVI Outreach Director
  • Dan Butler, TSBVI Music Teacher
  • Dr. Judy Cameron, Ph.D., University of Pitssburgh
  • Perkie Cannon, M.Ed., Educational Consultat ESC Region 11
  • Dana Frankland, M.Ed., Educational Consultant ESC Region 20
  • Laura Hampton, M.Ed.., TVI Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Health and Sexuality Panel:  Michael Clinkscales, Social Worker; Christi Fleming, Health Teacher; Dori Senatori, EXIT Instructor; John Rose, Short-Term Programs Teacher TSBVI
  • Claire Heins, M.Ed. Program Specialist with San Antonio ISD
  • Katy ISD Panel:  Elaine Robertson, Instructional Officer; Irene Conlan, TVI; Carolyn Samson, TVI
  • Kassy Maloney, COMS, Allied Independence , LLC.
  • Caroline Nelson
  • Sandy B. Olphie, M.Ed., COMS, Pflugerville ISD
  • Parent Panel Session:  Barbara Knighton, Emily DeSantis, & Johanna Uek
  • Deanna Peterson, DB Specialist and Consultant with TSBVI Outreach
  • Jane Rundquist, Music Teacher
  • Phillip D. Schweigert, M.Ed
  • Kristin Smedley, Author of "Thriving Blind"
  • Greg Stilson
  • Naia Subedar, B.S. Art and Entertainment Technologies
  • Tomball ISD Panel:  Samantha Hoffman, CTVI and  Wendy Lewis CTVI
  • Creating with Blind Abandon:  Katherine Trimm, CTVI & Linda Brown, Braillist

A more detailed agenda can be found at


Registration opens November 1, 2019 and ends February 21, 2020.  Late registration will begin February 17, 2020.  Registration fees are as follows and includes the cost of the optional pre-conference events:

  • Family and Professionals:  Early - $275.00  Late: $325
  • Paraprofessionals and University Students:  Early - $100.00  Late:  $150
  • Out-of-State Registration:  Early - $295  Late:  $345


You may register online and pay with a credit card at the time of registration or send a check or purchase order at a later date.  If you do not know the number of your check or purchase order enter "0000". We encourage you to register right away to get the Early Bird Rate.  You may cancel up to February 21st and pay no cancellation fee.  After February 21st you may be subject to a $25 cancellation fee.

Family members from Texas may request assistance to cover the cost of registration, child care arranged at home, travel and lodging. Please contact your HHSC or TWC caseworker to determine which costs they can cover before making a request from Outreach Programs.  If you cannot receive assistance from them, you may request assistance from TSBVI Outreach when you register. Someone from our staff will contact you about your request.

Limited assistance may also be available to cover the cost of registration for professionals and paraprofessionals.  Please contact your regional ESC VI Consultant if you are interested in these funds. The Mentor Voucher payment option may only be used by individuals  employed by eligible Education Service Centers.  If you have questions about Mentor vouchers, please contact Chrissy Cowan at .


Contact Toni Ericson at 512-206-9314.