TX SenseAbilities – Spring 2022 Issue
Remembering Linda Hagood
The staff of TX SenseAbilities mourns the loss of Linda Hagood and offers this tribute to her, written by her longtime friend and coworker, Kate Hurst. We not only celebrate Linda’s life and her many contributions to the fields of visual impairment and deafblindness, but we also proudly dedicate this issue to her. We will continue to honor her work by sharing some of her many publications in future issues of this newsletter.
A Mother’s Reflections on Parenting a Child with a Visual Impairment
The author, a parent of a child with low vision, reflects on her experiences raising her daughter to become an independent young adult. Kevin Markel, Program Specialist for Transition with the Texas Workforce Commission, also discusses Demetria’s transition journey in his article in the News and Views section of this issue, “Transition Success Requires a Solid Foundation.”
Exploring the World of the Zenith Accelerated Learning Academy for Students with Visual Impairments
TSBVI’s Family Engagement Specialist interviewed Mary Rickle, Co-Director of the SciAccess Zenith Accelerated Learning Academy, about a newly developed science program for students who have visual impairments.
Zenith Astronomy Program
A student participant in the SciAccess Zenith Mentorship Program describes his experiences with the program.
Reflecting on White Cane Day
The author, an individual with low vision, reflects on White Cane Day and her experiences with orientation and mobility.
Small Town to Big University: A Journey in Transition
A parent discusses her daughter Megan’s journey from a small-town high school to the PATHS program at Texas A&M University.
Our cover article by Kate Hurst mourns the passing of our respected colleague, friend, and former coworker, Linda Hagood (please see “Remembering Linda Hagood”). This article celebrates her many contributions to the field of visual impairments and deafblindness by highlighting some of our favorite works by Linda. We are excited to share her knowledge and expertise with those who didn’t have the opportunity to know or work with her, especially those who are new to our field. Reference information for all of these highlighted books and articles by Hagood is provided at the end of this article. Note: Many of us just called her “Hagood” instead of “Linda.” The title of this article, “Hagood-ness”, is provided by Scott Baltisberger, VI Education Specialist with the TSBVI Outreach Program, in his tribute at the end of this article. We can’t think of a more fitting title or tribute.
Learning from Linda: How Lessons From Linda Hagood’s “Better Together” Helped Me Improve My Instructional Practices
The author explains how Linda Hagood’s book, Better Together: Building Relationships with People Who Have Visual Impairment & Autism Spectrum Disorder (or Atypical Social Development) (TSBVI, 2008), inspired and influenced his practice with students who have visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities or who are deafblind.
What’s Going On with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) in Texas and Beyond
The author shares information on new materials and resources to support students with cortical visual impairment (CVI) and provides an update on CVI activities in Texas. Jennifer Willis, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ToD/HH) and Project Coordinator for Connections Beyond Sight and Sound, provided help with editing.
The Early Tactile Learning Profile
Authors of the Early Tactile Learning Profile share information on the development of this free online resource. It was designed to assist educational teams in the creation of tactile profiles of students who have visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities, and was specifically created in response to the needs of students who struggle with the acquisition of tactile skills. Note: The early work of the ETLP team was known as the Progression of Tactile Learning (PTL).
News & Views
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) Strategic Planning Underway
Superintendent Coleman outlines strategic planning sessions that the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) held with various stakeholders and the four priorities that the school will address in the next few years.
Vocational Rehabilitation Teachers (VRTs) Empower Transition Customers to Gain Skills and Build Self-Confidence Needed to Achieve Employment Goals and Live Independent Lives
The authors discuss the history and background of Vocational Rehabilitation Teachers and their roles in the vocational process, assisting individuals who are blind and visually impaired meet their independence and employment goals.
Transition Success Requires a Solid Foundation
This article discusses Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), foundational services offered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to students with disabilities. It also provides information on upcoming summer activities for students in Summer 2022.
New Leadership for the HHSC Blind Children’s Program
This article from the Blind Children’s Program announces the hiring of a new program manager, Joanie Cooksey. It describes her education, work experience, and contributions in the areas of children with disabilities.