TX SenseAbilities – Fall 2022 Issue

Featured Article

A young woman smiles when standing in front of the register.

Transition: Making It Up As We Go

Melanie Schacht describes the creative solutions that she and her daughter Maddie have discovered to help Maddie transition from high school to work and independent living.

Family Wisdom

Exploring Opportunities: Discovering Myself In College While Studying Abroad

This article is about a former TSBVI student who challenged herself to study abroad in Spain for a year. She describes her journey, the life lessons she learned from this experience, and some key elements that contributed to her success. Demetria’s story has become an inspiration for other students with visual impairments!

A Mobility Journey: From Bumpy Roads to Smoother Sailing

An adult with low vision reflects on her experiences with orientation and mobility. This article was previously published, in modified form, in the Winter 2020 edition of Albinism Insight, a national quarterly publication of the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH).

Transition Programs at Criss Cole

This article describes three new transition programs at Criss Cole Rehabilitation Training Center (CCRC). All legally blind students in the state of Texas between the ages of 14-22 years old are encouraged to apply. Shaw’s information can help students and families determine which program is the best fit to enhance a student’s independent skills.

Effective Practices

Vision Therapy: An Update

This research-based article provides an update on information in Dr. Kitra Gray’s article, Controversies Surrounding Vision Therapy, that was featured in TX SenseAbilities in 2018. Clemens provides additional information on the elements of vision therapy (VT), explaining how each element can be addressed. The author also offers suggestions for parents and guardians to consider when their child’s optometrist recommends vision therapy.

The Driving Question for Students with Low Vision

TSBVI’s Low Vision Consultant explains the process through which students with low vision can acquire a driver’s license in Texas. She also provides links to resources to help students, their families and professionals.

Bringing the Expanded Core Curriculum Into Your Holidays with Your Blind or Visually Impaired Child

In addition to being the Superintendent of TSBVI, Emily is the parent of a child with a visual impairment and multiple disabilities. Before she became the TSBVI Superintendent, she was an active Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and contributed articles to APH FamilyConnect. Her article from FamilyConnect, Bringing the Expanded Core Curriculum Into Your Holidays with Your Blind or Visually Impaired Child, is shared below, with active links to each of the nine areas of the ECC. Emily’s suggestions for ways to incorporate the ECC into holiday activities are timeless, and we are proud to reprint that article here, with permission from both Emily and APH FamilyConnect.

News & Views

Making Evaluation Meaningful

2023 Texas Chargers Retreat

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports: Looking for Yes

In this article, TSBVI Superintendent Emily Coleman explains Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) and its importance at TSBVI. She also offers two tips for addressing behavior: remember that behavior is communication and “look for the YES.” She encourages readers to use positive behavior interventions in all their relationships in order to give everyone “a win!”

One of the Best Kept Secrets in Texas Revealed!

This article from the DeafBlind Program of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) provides information on the resources, services, and equipment available for those who meet eligibility as DeafBlind in both the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program and the Older Individuals with Blindness (OIB) program from age 14 years and up.

Catching Up with APH CareerConnect: We’re More Than Just a Website

This article shares information on APH CareerConnect, one of the many resources from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). These resources are free online and available to students and adults who are blind and visually impaired, their families and professionals.

2022 Holiday Gift Ideas

When gift-giving holidays, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and birthdays arrive, the families of students with visual impairments, multiple disabilities, or who are deafblind often have questions about finding gifts that are appropriate. This article describes the variety of gifts available from National Braille Press (NBP)—and not all of them are books!