TX SenseAbilities – Spring 2023 Issue

Featured Article

An adult sits behind a smiling adolescent and places her hands under the student’s to make contact with a rectangular drum in front of them. They are sitting on astro-turf outdoors.

Trust Through Touch: Creating Positive Interactions

The authors share information about the importance of the sense of touch and the need to create positive interactions with a variety of objects, textures, and temperatures for students who are visually impaired, offering suggestions that can be shared with guardians, educational staff, and other service providers. Image: Residential Instructor Danielle uses hand-under-hand with Jaiden to play the soft drum during yoga on the turf outside the dorm.

Family Wisdom

Special Announcement from TX SenseAbilities! New Family Initiative

TX SenseAbilities is excited to announce that we will be publishing a SPECIAL Family Wisdom issue in the coming weeks. It will feature information on a new deafblind initiative from the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) that can impact ALL students with disabilities. This initiative is derived from the Deaf-Blind Network Family Engagement report (download in the article) and is in response to a growing need to elevate the family voice as a driving force in our efforts to support families.

A Love Letter to Mentors and Role Models

TSBVI’s Superintendent Emily Coleman describes the importance of mentors and role models for students with visual impairments.

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI): Establishing Relationships with Families

Nicole Wood, a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TSVI), describes ways to establish effective relationships with the families of children with visual impairments under the age of three.

Planning for Adult Life with Blind Children’s Discovery and Development Program’s (BCP) DeafBlind Services

Parents of a child who is DeafBlind talk about how they and their daughter are planning and preparing her for adult life with the help of the Blind Children’s Discovery and Development Program, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and other community resources.

Supporting the ECC: What’s a Family to Do?

Christopher Tabb, Statewide Orientation and Mobility Consultant, defines the term Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) and discusses ways that families can take on an active role in supporting the development of these skills for their children with visual impairments.

Effective Practices

Encouraging Collaboration: Beginning of the School Year Advice for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TSVIs)

TSBVI Outreach Consultant Emily Leeper provides suggestions for developing positive relationships and communication with educational team members that will ultimately lead to more effective collaboration between the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TSVI) and students’ teachers.

Avoid the Rabbit Hole! Resources for Quickly Finding Answers to Assistive Technology (AT) Questions

Donna Clemens, Assistive Technology (AT) Consultant, offers teachers, students, and families resources to efficiently locate answers about assistive technology (AT) devices and software commonly used by people with visual impairments.

New Practice Guides from National Center on Deaf-Blindness

Dr. Adam Graves, Deafblind Education Consultant, describes and reviews newly released practice guides from the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB).

DeafBlind Terminology

Dr. Adam Graves, Deafblind Education Consultant, defines a variety of terms for deafblind and explains when they should be used.

News & Views

FAPE: A TSBVI and District Partnership

TSBVI Superintendent Emily Coleman explains ways that TSBVI collaborates with public school districts in order to provide FAPE for students with visual impairments in Texas.

Sparking the Creative in Everyone

April Sullivan, Director of Art Spark Texas, describes how the organization evolved through the years since it first offered audio description (AD) of events to people in the community who were blind and visually impaired. It continues to provide audio description and also provides access to a variety of creative events for people with disabilities.

Football vs. Eyeball

Kick off your understanding of how the eye functions by learning some simple sports analogies and clever comparisons to tackle vision loss. This article follows a young man’s journey with a progressive eye condition and his determination to reach his goals. It is a condensed version of a PowerPoint presentation of the same title that uses football terms and sports analogies as a way to help explain some of the functions of the eye. Words that can be associated with football are written in bold.

Vision Therapy and Educational Visual Impairment Services: What’s the Difference?

New TSBVI Website for Assistive Technology (AT)

Essential Tools of the Trade for Teachers of Students who are Deafblind: A How-To Guide for Completing Evaluations

Braille FUNdamentals In UEB: Middle School and High School Levels